Changing lifestyle is being blamed for the increasing weight problems of our kids. It is estimated that kids spend on average over four hours a day either watching TV, or playing on the computer, and as computer games get more sophisticated and attract a larger audience, it is likely that number will increase. As a result, over one third of kids in America are classed as overweight based on body fat as measured by the Body Mass Index and weight charts for kids.
Many parents are scratching their heads wondering what to do to help their kids become more active and lose weight. There are a few things that will help and a few that will do more harm than good.
Things to avoid while helping your kids lose weight
Do not make an overweight kid worried about their weight by drawing attention to it. They would be well aware that they have a weight issue and don’t need anyone bringing it to their attention. They may be teased already by others, so they need your support more than anything.
Don’t continually try to get overweight kids to join a sports team. They may feel intimidated about their size already, so competing in a sport that they don’t like and don’t feel competent playing is counter productive.
Don’t place your overweight kid on a diet. They may be going through puberty and growth phases, so the weight is a by product and restricting food may not be the answer.
Things that will help your kid lose weight
Studies have shown a clear correlation between weight loss in kids and a positive lifestyle change involving the whole family. If adults set a good example by eating good healthy food at regular times through out the day and exercise regularly, overweight kids are more likely to follow and also eat healthy and exercise. This was shown to be the most important factor in a successful kids weight loss program.
Do get overweight kids involved in regular day to day physical activity, such as working to school, or parking a few blocks from the school and walking. Slowly increase the distance that you walk. Walking has been found to provide surprisingly good benefits for those wanting to lose weight as it develops your cardiovascular system while building muscle and burning fat, without over taxing the body.
If you have a dog, get your overweight child to take the pet for a walk everyday. That way you kill two birds with one stone. Its great exercise for both your child and your pet!
Eat regular meals and don’t let your kid skip breakfast. If kids skip breakfast, they are more likely to feel hungry well before lunch and snack on unhealthy and fatty foods which put on weight fast.
Substitute soft drinks and juices for water where possible. Soft drinks and many juices contain large amounts of sugar which will pile on the weight.
Eat smaller and more frequent meals. That increases your kids metabolism and also prevents them from snacking on unhealthy food as there is a healthy meal just around the corner.
So there are a few tips to help you help your kid lose weight.