How To Prevent Obesity In Childhood
How to prevent obesity in childhood

13 Ways How To Prevent Obesity in Childhood | How to prevent obesity in childhood – Current case obesity in children has increased. For more than 30 years, cases of obesity in children have almost doubled. You can prevent it by taking some simple steps, such as encouraging your child to be more physically active.

Obesity is important to prevent in childhood. The first reason is that children who are obese have a greater tendency to be obese in their adulthood. The second reason is when they have been obese since childhood then they will be more difficult to lose weight. [2]

Obese children are more prone to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. In addition to health problems, children who are obese will also feel the psychological impact. They are at risk of being bullied and have low self-esteem. [3]

How to prevent obesity in childhood

1. Be an Example

Parents have a big role in shaping children’s eating habits. In order for your child to eat healthy food, you need to set an example. You and your child can eat together. You can give 1/4 part of carbohydrates, 1/2 part vegetables and fruit, and 1/4 part fish and other side dishes. [4]

2. Give in Reasonable Portions

Children do not need as many calories as older persons. Therefore, give the child food portions in smaller quantities. You can ask children, how much they can eat in one meal. [5]

3. Don’t Focus on Losing Weight

Since children’s bodies are still developing, it is not advisable to adopt traditional weight loss strategies. Diets by limiting calorie intake can prevent children from getting vitamin, minerals, and energy needed for development and growth.

4. Avoid Labeling Foods as Healthy or Not

When you want to achieve the goal of preventing obesity in children then you will forbid children to eat whole foods that are less nutritious. However, the right thing is to give children in moderation. [3]

Avoid labeling food as healthy or not, for example, prohibit the consumption of burgers or ice cream. Children can eat these foods occasionally. This is more favorable towards children in the face of long-term obesity. [3]

5. Eat Regularly

You can set an example for your child that eating should be done regularly. Also, don’t skip meals. Eat a variety of foods, but always consume in moderation. [4]

6. Limit Sugar Consumption

Snacks that are available in the market contain a lot of sugar, high fat, and sodium or a mixture of the three. Limit the consumption of sugar from this type of food. The best way to consume sugar and nutrients is to eat real food. [5]

You can give children apples instead of apple juice. Keep foods high in sugar out of the reach and vision of children. Give food like this as an occasional reward. [5]

7. Limit the time your child is silent

The recommended amount of time for not doing activities is 2 hours per day. The children already have time to sit down while doing homework, and read quietly.

Therefore, you should limit your child from doing other activities that are just sitting. These activities include watching TV, playing games, and surfing the internet.

8. Healthy Protein Consumption

As a parent, you can provide a filling portion of food, but in a reasonable amount. In addition, children can be given healthy proteins such as lean meat and poultry products. [3]

9. Offer Vegetables and Fruits

Offering vegetables and fruit play a role in developing healthy eating habits that can prevent obesity. You can include fruit and vegetable menus in your child’s regular diet. Provide fruit and vegetables with bright colors every day. [4]

10. Exercising

Exercise is a core component of a healthy lifestyle. Children need at least one hour of physical activity every day. This helps balance children’s calorie consumption. Exercise is beneficial for managing weight, lowering blood pressure, strengthening bones, and improving mental health. [5]

11. Do Variations of Exercise

Children easily get bored while undergoing activities including sports. In order for your child to continue to do sports, creativity is needed. You can do a variety of exercises such as dancing, jumping rope, playing soccer, or chasing.

12. Add Dairy Products

Dairy products are important for your growing child because they are high in calcium. Include dairy products in the diet. If your child doesn’t like milk, you can replace it with yogurt, cheese, or soy milk (which has been fortified). [4]

13. Prioritize Quality Sleep

Sleep is another factor in obesity in children. If at this time they do not get enough quality sleep, they tend to be obese. Lack of sleep triggers sleepiness and makes children less active. [5]

When this happens, it can interfere with the hormones that control appetite. This condition makes the child hunger and eat more when awake. Limit the time you watch TV or play on your phone at bedtime. [5]

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Causes of Obesity

Obesity in children can be triggered by a lifestyle, for example too much calorie intake that is not balanced with enough exercise. These two reasons are the main factors in childhood obesity. In addition, genetics and hormones also play a role in obesity.

Some of the risk factors that influence the tendency of children to be obese:

  • Food menu, for example, high calorie intake of drinks or food
  • Lack of physical activity and sports
  • Family factors such as obese families will have high calorie food reserves so that they form children’s calorie intake habits
  • Psychological factors, for example to drive away feeling stress or make peace with the state of the child will overeat
  • Consumption of certain drugs can trigger obesity in children, for example, prednisone, lithium, amitriptyline, paroxetine, gabapentin, and propranolol.

  1. Image: Pixabay
  2. Aakash Pandita, Deepak Sharma, Dharti Pandita, Smita Pawar, Mir Tariq, & Avinash Kaul. Childhood obesity: prevention is better than cure. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity: Targets and Therapy; 2016.
  3. Anonymous. How to Combat Childhood Obesity: A Detailed Guide for Parents, Children and Health Practitioners. Naccho Voices; 2019.
  4. Anonymous. Childhood Obesity: 6 Practical Tips for Parents. Health Hub; 2021.
  5. Adam Secory. 5 Healthy Habits That Help Prevent Childhood Obesity. The Iowa Clinic; 2020.
  6. Video: American Academy of Pediatrics

Last Updated on May 17, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team