Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States. The repercussions for kids now and in the future are serious. Kids who are obese are at risk for conditions that once only affected adults, like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and joint problems, in addition to depression, social anxiety, and low self-esteem. At Riverside Community Hospital, we’re dedicated to helping all members of our community understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and the things we can all do together to get there. Fight back against childhood obesity with these tips.
Clean Up School Lunches
While parents may make great strides in providing a healthy diet at home, many kids still have access to high-calorie, high-fat foods at school. Lobby for your child’s school to stop offering sugary beverages and to replace unhealthy lunch options with more nutritious fare. If your child’s school doesn’t offer suitable choices for meals, consider packing a healthier lunch and only allowing your child to buy school lunches occasionally.
With busy schedules, the lure of video games, and other modern factors, kids today tend to get less physical activity than ever before. This is why physical education in school is so important. The government recommends that children get 60 minutes of physical activity daily for good health, and PE class is one of the most effective ways to ensure they get that consistently. However, changing curricula in many schools mean far fewer of them are offering daily PE classes. Be an advocate for PE in your child’s school.
Practice Portion Control
Make portion control part of mealtime for your family. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about food serving guidelines, and don’t forget to set an example with the way you eat. When kids aren’t used to super-sized portions, they’re less likely to overindulge outside of the house.
Do you need help managing your child’s weight? Ask for a referral to a Riverside Community Hospital physician. At our hospital, patients of all ages can find a comprehensive list of services, from OBGYN care to organ transplants, bariatric surgery, and heart care. For a referral to a doctor and additional information, call (951) 788-3000.