05 January 2013

The silent killer among our children, obesity.

Nearly one fifth of all children in America are obese.

As fathers we try our best to protect our children. We have failed to protect our children from a silent killer all around us. According to the CDC the rate for childhood obesity have tripled in the past thirty years. The risk for these children are great. They are vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and bone or joint problems. In the long term, they are more likely to be obese as adults which has a long list of health risk that are well documented. We have to reverse the trend.

Fathers look at eating healthy and exercising much differently than mothers. Males don't have the same instinctive obsession for personal appearance. The average male would like to be in shape and will work towards it, if it is convenient. The problem is most of us lack the motivation to go to the gym and stopping at the local fast food restaurant is easier than preparing a healthy meal. We forget that dad sets the example for everyone in the house to follow.

So how can we help our children stay healthy?

1. Remember that our children look up to everything that we do. If we make a conscious effort to eat healthy everyone else at home will follow suit. If we get out and become more active they will ask to join you.
2. Turn the TV off when the weather is nice. Most children love to play outside but you have to suggest it. Take away the other option of staying in and playing video games or watching cartoons and you'll be surprised how long they enjoy the outdoors.
3. Plan activities for the entire family to participate in. Walking to the park or throwing a football are easy examples.
4. Coach a sports team. If you coach, your child will play. Anyone can do it, especially for the earlier age categories. Here's a guide on how to coach your child's sports team.
5. Be sensitive to your child's feelings about their weight. Don't push them or belittle them.

Don't be surprised if you lose a few pounds yourself....

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  1. I'm pretty active. I ski, run, climb and ride bikes. I also eat (more or less) whatever I want. I also drag my son along with me and will more and more as he gets older. My dad did the same. So I have a love of doing things that both keep me fit and necessitate being fit. So i figure that's a good way to protect my son.

    I still am trying to keep my son away from super sugary and fatty stuff. It ain't easy though. I need to work on finding good fast food menu items for him. Got any ideas?


  2. Honestly I try to stay away from fast food as much as possible. Their are so things that you can do when you have to eat quick though. Subway is good if you have the flat bread. Almost everywhere you go apples are an option instead of fries. If you have to get a burger try to limit the amount of patties you eat and don't get extra sauce on anything.

  3. Now on to the meaty part of the question, changing the habits of sugar and fat.

    Soda is one of the main culprits. Limit the amount that's in the house and replace it with juice. Replace cookies with fruit. My family loves the Cuties and Grapes. You will find that if the don't have it in the house once they get hungry enough they will eat what is there and with time they'll ask for it. DON'T LET YOUR KIDS SKIP BREAKFAST. Aside from the mental focus benefits, breakfast is the kick start for your metabolism.

  4. Yes. I have severely reduced the soda I drink. We only give our son water or milk. I pretty much drink water and beer...

  5. Subway is good. We do In-N-Out Burger and Pizza every once in a while. Probably too often... From my observations, you are right, the first step is no tripple-decker burgers.