Child obesity is rapidly growing into a very serious problem within the United States. According to the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, the problem has increased more than threefold over the past thirty years.
The prevalence of this issue has reached almost twenty percent, meaning that one in five #children within the country is considered to be obese. The problem is mostly caused by a caloric imbalance within children’s bodies, meaning that they are taking in more calories than they are burning on a daily basis.
The human body is designed to burn a specific number of calories that is taken from the foods we ingest. This number completely depends on the person’s age and size; it can be altered through the burning of extra units through exercise.
As you exercise more, the system calls for more calories so that it can properly administer energy to the muscles and other areas of the body. This excess burning of these units can increase weight loss and the amount of fat that is present in the bloodstream.
However, those that do not get enough physical activity to burn up what is gathered from the amount of food that they are eating, they are more likely to become overweight and have an excess of unnecessary fats within their system. Unfortunately, youth that are unhealthy and not getting the proper amount of daily fitness are more likely to be at risk for cardiovascular diseases, like high cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as diabetes.
They may also be likely to experience more bone and joint problems than those who are living a healthy lifestyle. Very often, habits that we build as children carry over into adulthood.
This can be both good and bad; if parents rear their children to take care of their body, then it is not a problem. However, if the youth is not monitored and living an active lifestyle, they may form this bad habit and carry it with them for the rest of their life.
Teen years are especially difficult, for two reasons: most secondary or high schools do not have much more than vending machines and unhealthy snack foods available between organized meals, and adolescents have more money available to them because of after-school jobs. This means that they are able to spend more money on the types of products that are available to them, which are usually processed and packaged snacks that are high in sugar, sodium, and fats.
A shocking majority of teenagers do not eat a nutritious breakfast or completely skip it altogether. According to the American Dietetic Association, half of adolescent males and two-thirds of females skip the meal on a regular basis.
Eating breakfast is the best way to jump-start one’s metabolism and give the body fuel to get through the morning. Believe or not, those that have been recorded to skip it frequently are more likely to be overweight and obese.
Foregoing breakfast can shock the body and put it in hunger mode; it starts to conserve energy by slowing down the metabolism and preventing it from burning energy at a regular pace. The more this occurs, the easier it is for the body to pack on extra pounds.
Another thing that teens must be very careful of is avoiding foods that are contained in the “other” group on the food pyramid. This is the smallest section located at the top that includes sugars and fats and must be used the most sparingly.
#helping your child avoid these types of snacks is simple. You can do so by having plenty of fruits and vegetables available for them to take to school with them to munch on in between classes.
Adolescents in general tend to eat more and on a more frequent basis than adults; because their bodies are growing and changing, they need more calories to stay energetic. Very often, they turn to these fatty and sugary treats for lack of a better option.
Providing them with healthy foods that can deliver nutrients and vitamins is the best way to avoid an over-consumption of the other substances. When you cook meals, make sure that they are full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins.
Not only is it necessary to alter youths’ diets and make them more nutritious, they will also need to stay active and get some form of exercise each day. You can really make a difference in your son or daughter’s life and instill healthy habits early on by being active and healthy yourself.
Terry Daniels is a personal trainer and has authored hundreds of articles relating to physical training and treadmills. He has been a health expert and physical trainer for over 15 years.