By Monal Patel - Assistant Outreach CoordinatorObesity is a complex, multi-factorial chronic disease involving environmental, genetic, physiologic, metabolic, behavioral and psychological components. Obesity is a disease that affects nearly one-third, approximately 60 million of the adult American population. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
By teaching healthy behaviors at a young age, we can help decrease the chance of children having obesity as an adult, which becomes more difficult to manage with age. According to James O. Hill, Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado, says that while weight loss requires significant lifestyle changes, taking away extra calories through small steps can help slow and prevent weight gain. Behaviors involving physical activity and nutrition are the cornerstone of preventing obesity in children and adolescents. Parents are the most important role models for children.
Here are some ways that parents can establish a lifetime of healthy habits for their family:
Create an Active Environment:
• Make time for the entire family to participate in regular physical activities, such as walking, bicycling or rollerblading that everyone enjoys.
• Join together with other families for group activities like touch-football, basketball, tag or hide-and-seek.
• Assign active chores to every family member such as vacuuming, washing the car or mowing the lawn.
• Limit the amount of TV watching.
Create a Healthy Eating Environment:
• Implement a healthy diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains for your entire family.
• Replace drinking soda with water.
• Avoid rushing to finish meals. Eating too quickly does not allow enough time to digest and to feel a sense of fullness.
• Avoid serving portions that are too large.
• Limit the frequency of fast-food eating to no more than once per week.
posted on March 05, 2010
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