The childhood obesity rate in America has almost tripled in the last couple of years. According to the CDC, approximately 18.5% of children and adolescents between 2 and 19 years old are obese. Studies indicate that an obese child or teen will likely be an obese adult. This predisposition puts them at a greater risk for poor health. It puts them at a greater risk for developing serious health problems such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancers. This is not limited to one state or town. Childhood obesity is a national concern. Let us help ensure a healthier future for our children. Let us consider the following ideas for maintaining a healthy weight:
Start kids off by eating foods from every food group. By starting young, they will be more accepting of eating nutritious food. Introduce them to new taste, color, and textures of food. Allow them to choose a healthy food to prepare. If they are against eating nutritious food, find creative ways to hide the food in plain sight. Make sure that the kids are eating a balanced diet by including foods from all five food groups.
To ensure kids stay active, create different activities that will keep them fit. Encourage family activities such as walking trails, hiking, riding a bicycle, dancing, bowling or even have a great time at the beach. There are many ways to stay active. Make sure that the kids are physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.
Stop the rise of obesity by finding different ways to keep kids healthy and fit. Trade out all those unhealthy juices and sodas for water, milk, or 100% fruit juice. Also switch out a bag of chips or a pack of cookies for a small container of veggies or fruits as a snack. Instead of eating ice cream, grab a smoothie containing a variety of fruits.
Reference: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Let's help to stop the rise of childhood obesity.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture