Childhood obesity is a common problem. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), obesity in children has doubled in the past 30 years, and quadrupled in adolescents! Approximately 15 to 20 percent of our children are overweight or obese.
Unfortunately, this epidemic has caused several myths to surface. Myths only distort understanding. Let’s clear some of these myths up so childhood obesity can be faced and dealt with.
Myth #1 – Soda causes childhood obesity
Soda alone doesn’t cause obesity. Yes, soda is not a healthy drink, however there are other factors at play causing obesity.
Consistent poor food choices and eating habits, as well as a sedentary lifestyle, are more likely a couple of the factors when it comes to obesity.
Myth #2 – Obesity is inherited and you can’t do anything about it
It’s true that you tend to see obesity run in families. If a child is obese, chances are the parents are also obese or overweight. However, it is uncommon for genetics to cause obesity. Occasionally a child may be born with a hormonal imbalance that causes obesity, but that’s not the norm.
In most cases, parents have simply passed on their poor choices in food choices, eating habits, and inactive lifestyle to their children. Those three elements can combine to cause obesity. Eat a healthy diet and get active through regular exercise, and then obesity can be reversed, even if the parents stay overweight.
Myth #3 Obese children are just lazy
Absolutely not. Obese children are the same as any other children. They love to play and be active. However, it’s also very easy to be sedentary today. Video games, electronic devices, and television all keep children indoors and on the couch. Children of all ages and sizes need to be motivated by the adults in their lives to get outside and to move their bodies. The best role models for an active lifestyle are always the parents.
Obesity can be reversed. Children can learn to live a healthy and active lifestyle. They can grow up into strong and healthy adults. However, they need the help of the adults in their lives. They need guidance, controls, and limits. They may also need motivation from time to time.
The Center for Childhood Obesity offers these simple recommendations:
* Five fruits and vegetables each day
* 2 hours of screen time, or less, each day
* 1 hour of physical activity each day
* 0 sugar sweetened beverages each day
To conclude, childhood obesity doesn’t have to be a life sentence. In the majority of cases, the simple act of eating healthier foods and getting active can turn it around. Learn the myths and uncover the truth about childhood obesity. Your whole family can benefit from the changes made.