By: Annie Morgan
America has become a fast food and sedentary nation, so it’s no surprise Americans are more overweight than ever.
But what’s shocking is how America’s obesity crisis has trickled down the family line and is destroying the health of children who don’t know better.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 13.7 million children ages 2-19 are considered obese!
Even more shocking, the CDC stated that 13.9% of young children ages 2-5 are classified as obese!
If not reversed, these obese children will grow into obese adults, and experience all kinds of problems like heart strain, inflammation, diabetes, and even premature death.
So what’s making America’s children so obese?
Forgoing Healthy Foods
In the good old days, families sat down to eat together and enjoyed a homecooked meal.
The new norm is to drive by a fast-food restaurant and pick up something “fast and hot” and guzzle it back with a sugary soda.
Everyone is “so busy” they neglect their health and opt for convenience.
But as the pounds pack on, well-intended parents who might want to reward their child with a happy meal toy are actually setting up their child for an early death.
As parents, it’s critical to ensure children are getting proper nutrients and eating healthy.
Meal prepping even one day a week can help save time and keep your child healthy.
Children used to run around outside and play – but now they are glued to their iPads.
Sadly, parents don’t seem to be stopping this trend and continue to buy phones and tablets for children younger and younger.
It’s critical you get your child used to being active while they are young – make it part of their life.
You can be active with them and suggest a family bike ride, walk around the park, or even another fun activity like ice-skating.
Sign your children up for sports and help them find an activity they enjoy so they’ll get used to staying active.
If you allow your child to be sedentary while they are young, this bad habit will follow them into adulthood and they’ll even grow to like being lazy.
Your Children Are Watching You
Remember, your children are watching how you live. If you demand they eat their broccoli but they watch you eat 3 bowls of chocolate ice cream – they are going to be resentful and not understand the value of health.
Instead, if they watch you make conscious health choices and eat healthy meals each day while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, they will grow up with this model.
Encourage your children the goal of eating healthy isn’t to “lose weight” – but to help keep the body strong and functioning and at its peak level of performance.
Obesity is a crisis affecting children all over the country – but you can make things different in your home!
Were you surprised to learn so many children in America are obese?
How do you think parents can help introduce healthy habits to their children?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know the harmful effects of America’s obesity crisis in children!