Tackle childhood obesity with these strategies
5/12/2016 1:16 PM
Statistics show that almost half of kids in the United States are overweight to some degree. A big part of that is diet. Of course, children are going to eat what their parents buy, and in many cases the whole family is not eating well. When it comes to food, it’s tempting to settle for the quick and easy options, but cooking fresh and nutritious meals benefits the health of the entire family.
Another important factor for weight management is getting kids active and out of the house. Kids should have 60 minutes or more of active play each day. Getting outside to play with neighbors and friends also helps build relationships and strengthen the community.
These days, the average kid spends seven hours per day in front of a screen. While some of that time is dedicated to school and homework, most of it is for entertainment. This can be especially detrimental to smaller children, because an important part of their development is touching, feeling and interacting with other people.
One of the best ways to limit screen time for children is to set up parental controls on their electronic devices that enforce a time limit. Use screen time as a reward after homework is done and at least one hour of active play has been achieved.
For more useful health tips, visit CTMC’s YouTube channel.
About the Author
Stephen Richardson, MD, is a family doctor and obstetrician at the Live Oak Health Partners Community Clinic in San Marcos, Texas.