According to some recent research almost 30% of American children are overweight or obese. Any issue that would negatively effect 1 out of 3 Americans would be considered a national catastrophe, yet the issue of childhood obesity is continually being put on a back burner, treated as insignificant or thought of as self-resolvable.
We are talking about the future generation of this country being in jeopardy before they even reach puberty, yet we never hear the alarming calls from the government and education officials like we should. Most we hear is the acknowledgment of the problem before they move on to a different topic. No action plan, no assistance provided to help those of us willing to work on the problem. The issue is being continually ignored and it will NOT go away by itself.
Certain community activists, parenting groups, after school programs and fitness professionals like myself are trying to do something about it. However we are constantly faced with major obstacles some of which are difficult to overcome, lack of funding for after school programs or for community initiatives come to mind.
Because of this parents must be very conscious of this issue and to double their efforts to help their children stay healthy. If parents could concentrate on only the following 2 points, child will grow up healthy and happy.
– Clean nutrition. Healthy eating habits will not only help the kids now, but will also instill healthy eating habits for a lifetime. What does “clean nutrition” mean? If you are not skilled in basic nutrition, and can’t tell your fats from proteins, just focus on whole, non-processed foods and certainly not some child-specific diet plan printed from internet.
– Activity. Children do not necessarily need organized athletic activities, all they really need is to be put in a position to be active and use their bodies and not their fingers on a controller of their X-Box. What does “activity” mean? Anything your child wants, as long as it keeps their interest and keeps their body moving.
So to sum it up, when it comes to your child health and fitness, keeping things simple, but consistent may have a far better effect than you think. There is no need to take a special nutrition class in my opinion or teach yoga to your child – they’ll just be bored. Keep things simple – sport games outside with friends should take care of the activity part for any child or teenager and better nutritional choices will keep them active and feeling great.