Parents to blame for obesity in children

By Rawan Salameh

The amount of children suffering with obesity issues are rapidly increasing. The most logical way to stop this lethal trend is to start with the parents. Children’s bad habits are caused by their parents and are the parents’ responsibility to stop.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of children and adolescents were obese in 2010. This is becoming a big problem in society and parents need to have the wisdom and knowledge to do what they can to stop these harmful habits that cause child obesity.

Parents obviously don’t have bad intentions and don’t mean to cause health and image problems for their children. The problem is that parents lack the knowledge and education to stop obesity.

A lot of it can also be because some parents don’t have the discipline to eat right themselves so they don’t push their children to.

According to Natalie Muth, author of “Eat your vegetables and other mistakes parents make,” there are several common mistakes parents make that seem like a good idea but actually have negative effects in the child’s eating habits.

One is telling children to eat everything on their plate. This habit stays with a child his or her whole life. Emptying their plate is not always a good idea because it is causing kids to constantly stretch the size of their stomach. Children should eat until they are full and feel like stopping.

Another mistake is telling kids they can have dessert if they behave well. Making dessert seem like such a reward is a bad idea. It causes them think that this is what will make them feel good. This habit may stay with them their whole life and they may turn to sweets for comfort as adults.

According to CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Could this be because families don’t have homemade meals as much as before? Many families have both parents that hold careers and simply don’t have time to cook.

When a parent raises a child to eat out more than a few times a week, they should expect the child to begin having weight problems. The parent has trained the child to eat fast food meals often instead of raising him or her with healthy home cooked meals.

Many fast food restaurants such keep increasing the size of their burgers; adding more food items, sauces and number or size of meat patties. This kind of indulgence can be toxic to the body if done too often.

The chances of a child eating healthy even if parents are too busy or lazy to take time to plan nutritious meals are nearly impossible. Eating habits are passed on from the parents. Habits such as these are not easy to end.

A parent should have the wisdom to know when to say no to a child. Children don’t know better and if it was up to them they would live off of ice cream.

That’s why the parents shouldn’t feel guilty when denying their children junk food and pushing them to eat smart.

A major positive habit that parents should pass down to children is increase physical activity. Children these days forget that playing outside is fun. It’s the parent’s job to take them swimming, to the park and to sporting events. The options are endless. Letting a child become a couch potato because it is more convenient for the parents schedule is selfish parenting.

Many kids like to play video games and play on their computer after school and on the weekends but this causes them to be lazy and inactive. The parents must draw the line. More than a couple of hours of television or videogames cannot be healthy for the child and causes them to be inactive and non-athletic.

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