How to protect our children from obesity in 2009

Fitness Expert
When we were children we grew up worrying about getting on the bicycle and riding with our friends or playing baseball and football. We always had plenty of choices to get the exercise that we needed and didn't even know we were getting it. But, today you can see that things have changed. We used to have to go to our friends house to talk to them and now they have cell phones and internet to communicate. Meaning they don't have to move or walk anymore. They also have video games to play instead which also means less exercise.

I read not to long ago that by 2012 80% of America is going to be over weight or obese. I also read the Dept. of health in NY State says that 10% of 4 to 5 year olds are overweight and as they age one in 5 boys ( ages 6 - 11 ) are overweight. This is a frightening fact because being overweight also leads to many health issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, and even possibly some cancers. The bad part is when children gain weight their fat cells stay there and when they loose weight they shrink. Then when children start eating more again those cells remain hungry and start getting bigger again. That is why it is so important to start young in educating your children about the risks of obesity.

There are things we can do to teach our children to be aware of their eating habits. Lets face it children do not do the shopping for our homes, we do. So we can start by buying the right groceries. Then get rid of the bad foods and start showing them that this is how you need to eat to have a healthy life. Just think how this will help you as well. If we start our children at a young age to eat fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks you would be surprised at how they really do like them. There are other foods that are healthy as well such as yogurt, sugar free pudding, juice pops, or even whole grain cereal with skim milk. A lot of times it is the parents who don't eat enough of these and then our children follow. I know what you're thinking: children love the fast food, well then work on getting rid of the fatty sauces that go on the burgers and / or even smaller burgers.

This is the most important part, teach them to be active again! Children need at least an hour of play to burn all that stored up energy. Children need after school activities like any sport they are interested in. It doesn't even have to be school associated. It can be you playing catch with them or chasing them. Imagine what this extra activity would do for you as well. The point is parents have to be involved or they will never learn how to take care of themselves when they need to. If you're a parent who goes to the health club see if you can find a way to involve your children. Try to set up a workout plan for them and monitor their results. It does not have to be great results but it teaches them the rewards of exercising and the knowledge to do so. Children follow what their parents do and if you smoke and drink chances are they will too.

So get out there and start your kids off with a healthy 2009. It is a new year, a fresh start, and we want the children of the future to be as happy and healthy as they can be. Say no to child obesity!