Heart Health Month: Part Two: Obesity Prevention Begins at Home

Heart Month

Heart Month

Chelsea Wicks, MD, discusses childhood obesity.

Last week we discussed the issue of childhood obesity and the fact that nearly 25% of children under the age of 18 in the state of Nevada are overweight. 

Though government is working on trying to educate families on this issue, there is a lot of work still to be done.

It really begins at the level of the parents and care givers of our children. To ensure your child prevents or overcomes obesity, please educate yourself.  Many of us weren’t taught how to be healthy by our own parents so it is up to us to teach our children how to be healthy. Here are some tips:

  • Begin by encouraging a goal of five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. I know this is hard, but by offering it, you’ll be amazed at how much more you’re kids will eat.
  • Also, encourage your child to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This doesn’t have to be all at once and doesn’t have to be boring “exercise.”
  • Turn of the TV and tablet and turn on the music! Try dancing, hula hopping, jump roping or going for a neighborhood walk. Just keep them moving. You’ll be surprised at the mental and physical transformations.
  • Finally, avoid the drive-thru. Though it is convenient and inexpensive, it is just as easy to go home and make a sandwich or a quick pasta dish and you’ll likely save hundreds of calories and skip the sweetened beverage as well!

Also, be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician. They may be able to point you to some further resources that could be very helpful not only for your child, but for the entire family!