Obesity is an epidemic; to prevent it we need to start with children because people who are overweight as kids are more likely to be overweight as an adult. Eleven percent of children are overweight and children of minority races are at a greater risk when it comes to obesity than white children. Children need to practice healthy habits. With easy access to junk food, sugary snacks, and soda many young kids are developing bad eating habits. Parents just can’t control what their kids eat when they’re at school. They just send in a check when their child is out of money. Most kids order something along the lines of pizza, milk, one to three ice creams, and the sugary snack that is being offered as a special treat that day. So the best choice for parents who want to monitor their children’s health is to have them bring lunch to school. Parents who do this know that the packed lunch their kids make can only contain food that they buy for them.
Now we need to discuss healthy eating habits. When going grocery shopping you need to bring a list and do not go on an empty stomach because if you’re hungry you’ll buy more than if you were full. When getting things for packed lunches you need to stay away from those Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies and similar products because they’re some of the worst things you can eat for energy they’re just empty calories. Instead, try to find some strawberries or cherries for a treat with your lunch. There are also more exotic things like mangos and fruits you have to grow yourself because they’re too delicate to ship like figs which give you more calcium per serving than a cup of milk. Stop buying soda and buy some healthy juices instead. Also, you need to plan meals to try to make sure you get enough servings of each food group and don’t neglect your calcium intake or it will stunt your growth.
The most well known factor in obesity is exercise. Americans are terrible at getting exercise. You should try to schedule some time everyday for moderate or light exercise. For example you can do a few sit ups and push ups every morning and night increasing the amount as you need to. Working out at the gym or doing yoga are great ways for adults to get much needed exercise but it’s expensive and kids can’t participate in those activities with their parents, so families can ride bikes together on a trail or path and stay in shape that way. Also, you can swim, run, play catch, take the family dog for a walk or get some moderate exercise by helping out with the yard work. The key to good health is just to be moving constantly and have fun while you’re doing it.
Some more involved activities are to join a sports team. Find a sport you like and stick with it for a season or two. If you don’t like it try out another one. Some common sports are soccer, basketball, football, and lacrosse, various forms of hockey, volleyball, tennis, or horse back riding. Sports are a great way to have fun and meet friends while keeping in shape, and you can get scholarships for colleges if you’re good enough.