Obesity is on the rise for American kids. In fact, according to the CDC, there are almost three times as many obese kids age 6-19 as there were 30 years ago. An obese child or teen is at risk for health problems during their youth and as adults. They are more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes, two leading causes of death in the U.S. They are also more likely to develop asthma, liver degeneration and sleep apnea. Obesity is a leading cause of preventable death in America, second only to smoking according to the CDC. Additionally, obesity can force your child to face psychological and social problems. They can be teased or face discrimination which can cause low self-esteem, degraded schoolwork and social skills. These issues can last long past childhood, well into adulthood.
BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico recommends 5-2-1-0 for better health!!
5 Servings of Fruits and Veggies every day!
2 Limit “Screen Time” to 2 hours or less per day (this includes TV, computer, video games, handheld games) Also, avoid putting TV’s or computers in your child’s bedroom. Encourage your child to be physically active before allowing screen time.
1 “Take an hour each day to go out and play!!” Get at least one hour of physical activity each day. Plan a family walk after dinner. Encourage your kids to join a school sports team, club or dance/fitness class.
0 Sweet drinks! Skip the soda and hit the water! Avoid serving soft drinks or sweetened drinks to kids. Encourage water between meals, it helps kids feel full (sometimes hunger is one of the signs of dehydration) Add fruit like lemons, limes, oranges or cherries to flavor your water.
If your child has a weight problem, they need your support:
If your doctor tells you that your kids are overweight or obese, let them know they are loves, regardless of their weight. Now, more than ever, they need help from their parents. Start by letting kids know they are not alone, and help them to set a goal to make healthy eating choices and to be more active. (Remember, the best way to help someone is to Lead By Example!)
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