Being overweight can be difficult, especially for children. That is why Dr. Preeti Parikh stresses the need for emotional support from parents. It is important to let those struggling with their weight know they are loved.
Dr. Parikh lays out some important steps to fighting childhood obesity that include gradually changing their physical activity and eating habits as well as parents being good role models. If you as a parent eat healthy and exercise, odds are your child will follow suit. Working with your pediatrician to set appropriate weight loss goals is also very helpful.
Making sure your child gets at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day is imperative. While it is possible your child is exercising at school, do not assume they are getting the recommended 60 minutes. Watching TV is often a problem for those who are overweight so Dr. Parikh recommends capping the time your child spends in front of the TV to 2 hours per day with limited, healthy snacks.
As a family it is important to remember you are all in this together. Plan dinners and serve snacks that gradually cut down on fat and calories. Avoid restrictive diets and do not give your children weight loss medication unless recommended by your family doctor.
Childhood obesity is one of the biggest health concerns we face as a society. But if you act early these problems can be reversed. As Dr. Parikh says “It’s never too late to take control of your family’s health.”