Being a healty weight is so important for kids. By now everyone knows that there is an obesity epidemic gripping the nation’s children. It has been making headlines for the last 20 years. Somehow though there is still this misconception that as kids grow older they’ll grow into their extra weight and come out the other side of puberty a happy, healthy person.
Unfortunately, it has been proven time and time again that this isn’t actually what happens at all and in fact obesity in childhood is setting kids up to become obese adults. In fact, the epidemic is so bad that this generation is predicted to have a shorter lifespan than the one before it…for the first time in human history. Just let that sink in for a moment, your child’s generation has a shorter life expectancy than yours. Here are the reasons why your kids should be a healthy weight.
You’re Teaching Them Eating Habits They Will Keep
As children, we are all experimenting with life around us. We’re figuring out what foods taste good to us and what things we don’t like. Did you know that sometimes a child has to try a food 10 times before they like it? This is such an important stage in their lives because what you teach them now they will carry with them for the rest of their lives, including their tastebuds. Even the very concept of drinking water. There is a very real issue of young adults today who hate the taste of water because they spent their whole childhood drinking soda, Capri-Suns, or Kool-Aid.
Their Weight Impacts Their Ability to Learn
Carrying around extra weight isn’t just bad for their little bodies, it’s also having an impact on their brains and their ability to learn. Specifically, people of any age who are overweight has a harder time forming memories. Studies have also found a link between obesity and lowered testing scores and a decrease in the likelihood of graduating from college.
Increases Risk of Depression
Depression and obesity go hand in hand, where there is one the other is often there as well. There are a number of different factors that result in obesity-related depression including increased bullying and facing the reality that you can’t do some of the things you want to do because of your size. But also, there has been some research that suggests being overweight dulls your ability to experience pleasure. This is one reason why people who are obese tend to overeat. It takes more food to get the same amount of pleasure from the experience.
They Won’t Grow Out of It
As I stated in the introduction, the idea that kids will grow out of their weight as they go through puberty and get older is incredibly harmful. Obese children turn into obese teens or who then turn into obese adults. They’re learning habits that will stick with them forever. If they come home from school every day and sit in front of the tv as children…they’re more likely to do that as adults too. Which leads to a sedentary lifestyle and an increase in weight gain.
In the end, I’m not suggesting that anyone should put their children on a diet. There have been too many studies that show how harmful dieting is for a child’s mind. Instead, I recommend talking to your child’s pediatrician, feeding them well balanced healthy foods, and signing them up for a sport of some kind.
How have you managed a healthy weight for your child? Do you incorporate healthy eating with excerise? Please let me know your thoughts.
LaToyia, The Motivated Mom