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What is “too young” to begin a weight loss program with children? Is there actually such a thing? There are many different opinions on the topic of child obesity but one thing everyone can agree on is that it is becoming an epidemic in North America. Many reports show that obesity now kills more people in a year than smoking does.
So whose fault is it? I don’t think there is any one area of blame but a combination of many. The fast paced lives that we lead have created more of a demand for “quick” meals whether they are pre packages or fast foods. The consumption of junk food is at an all time high with more and more variety that are all very attractive to our kids. Parents often think they are doing something nice for their kids when they give in to the demands of “I have to have that” when they see the constant advertising of attractive and yummy treats on television. Lack of exercise, face it many kids to day are just plain lazy. So is a weight loss program the answer for overweight and obese kids? My answer is definitely yes. If however you ask me is the answer to put these kids on a diet…my answer is definitely NO!
So what is the difference? Weigh loss means changing the way your child eats in a very positive way. Tell them to eat more fruits and vegetables because they are healthy for them. Keeping the junk food out of the house is the best way to make sure they are not eating it. I don’t mean that an occasional treat is not ok but the key word here is “occasional.” Watch their fat intake. Pre packaged foods and fast foods are very high in fat especially Trans fats which are very dangerous. More and more companies have realized this danger and are offering Trans fat free foods. Get your child involved in physical activities. Today our children’s lives often revolve around television, video games and computers. The common negative denominator here is that they all involve just sitting. These are all excellent ways to help our children with their weight.
There is a big difference between healthy weight loss and a diet. A diet is something negative that makes children feel focused on their size rather than their health. Diet does not mean healthy it means getting thin any way possible, which is exactly the opposite of what we want our kids to believe. What you teach your kids when they are young about eating habits is the seed you plant for their future and giving our children good health is in my opinion our responsibility.
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