Top 4 Ways Parents Can Help Prevent Childhood Obesity

In the United States, it is considered a gross understatement to say that childhood obesity is becoming a huge problem over the past decades. In a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity is the fastest growing health problem in the United States. The problem has continued to balloon over the past 30 years. Obesity is at its highest in children ages 6 – 11 years old. CDC estimated that more than 33% of children aged 2 – 19 are overweight or obese.

childhood obesity 1

The Problem With Obesity

There are numerous health implications for a child who is overweight/obese. This problem can result in issues in their physical, mental, social, emotional, and developmental health. The rise in obesity may lead to the following:

  • Heart diseases due to high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Bone and Joint Problems
  • Certain Types of Cancer
  • Social Discrimination

Aside from the myriad of metabolic diseases, obesity and being overweight may also mean that your child may experience low self-esteem, poor self-image, and a tendency to experience withdrawal from others. For example, kids who grow up obese are most likely to become easily fatigued, which would limit their social activities.

Tips for Parents

Parents play a huge role in childhood obesity because they have the main responsibility of taking care of their children and making decisions that impact their overall health.

Set A Good Example


childhood obesity 2Parents and caregivers should set healthy lifestyle choices that kids can follow. You can start by eating healthy and staying active, you can then encourage your kids to do the same. Food choices can make a lot of difference, for example, swapping fruits instead of chips. You can also lead certain activities for your kids, for example, you can create a weekend family time by hiking or trying out sports.

Educate Your Kids On The Effect Of Obesity

One of the most important things to do is to educate your children on the implications of being overweight or obese. Kids will be able to remember these health effects especially when you are not around to monitor what they are doing.

Encourage Proper Nutrition

When it comes to metabolic diseases more than 80% of the problem has to do with the food that you eat. As parents, you have a lot to do with the choices that your children make. To lessen their exposure to unhealthy food, start by changing your shopping habits. When doing the groceries, plan your meals ahead of time. Buy only foods that are healthy and wholesome.

Try to spend as much time as possible in preparing healthy meals at home, this will reduce your expenses and your waistline at the same time. Generally, school’s cafeterias do not provide a healthy selection of food for your kids. You can make changes by encouraging them to bring their own lunch. Include vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds in their lunch or encourage them to choose these items to snack on.

Encourage Active Play


childhood obesity 3

Another major reason why kids develop obesity is because of the lack of activities that make them fit physically. Children today live a more sedentary lifestyle compared to kids 50 years ago. Encourage your children to put down their electronic gadgets and go outside for a walk, go to the playground, walk the dog, join sports, or ride their bikes. You can also encourage other children in the community to join, this way you will build a healthier family and community at the same time.

A vast majority of children who are obese or overweight at a young age tend to carry those bad habits into their adult life. Parents there are a lot of things that you can do to encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle. Start with your family today and help prevent childhood obesity.

Do you healthy living tips to share to help prevent childhood obesity? We’d love to hear it!

Posted by uprunforlife

Christy is married to her best friend and has three children. When she isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing video games, reading books, or listening to music. She loves to write and help other people to take the focus off of her chronic health problems.

This article has 25 Comments

  1. YES! Just because we can’t send our kids out to play on their own does not mean we can’t get out and play WITH THEM! Overweight kids are often a result of lazy parenting. Not always as I do realize that being overweight can be a matter of DNA and no one’s fault at all. I just want to see more kids outdoors, playing, and active and parents lead by example.

  2. It’s very important that we teach our kids about proper nutrition at a very young age. Once they get used to junk food and other unhealthy choices, it will be very hard for them to avoid.

  3. Deposit a portion of your income in a savings or retirement account. Don’t accumulate new debt, and pay off any debt you currently have. Establish a realistic timeframe for your savings goals.

  4. Proper nutrition and getting the kids to play outdoors and get them involved in sports is so important. Fast and junk food is a big culprit for sure!

  5. Great tips! Parent examples are the best way to teach kids healthy living. We have day this from day 1 with our 3 boys.

  6. These are some wonderful tips. I’m glad my girls love spending time outdoors. I want them to join some extra activities to help them get some good exercise as well.

  7. I always cringe when I see children who are obese. I’ve been obese basically since I was a teenager and even if you set all of the health concerns aside, it’s tough for children to be larger than their frame is meant to support during their formative years. Being extremely overweight held me back so many times–especially as a young adult–and it breaks my heart when I see kids dealing with it. It’s the parent’s job to ensure their children are on the right track to live a long and healthy life!

  8. Great tips! It’s so important as parents to instill good eating habits and health habits in general in your kids at a young age. It really makes a difference in how they act as they grow up!

  9. These are really great tips. As someone who has struggled with my weight since I was a child I wish my parents had taught me some of these things. I always make it a priority with my children to teach them healthy habits.

  10. It is sad to see how high those rates are going. Good nutrition and exercise is very important to ensure your kids are healthy!

  11. I definitely think being the example is the best one. They see what you do and want to do it, too. I make my kids lunches every day so they are full of fruit and veggies to give them a healthy meal. Plus, we eat at home most nights.

  12. Indeed setting up as an example is really needed to encourage your children. Being involve on physical activities too is another way to keep your children fit.

  13. Yes! these tips are great to fighting obesity. especially the lead by example tip (they copy so much of what adults do!) Glad you’re making a difference by spreading the word : )

  14. This is so important! I think setting a good example and encouraging an active lifestyle is so important. I grew up eating horribly and watching TV all day when home, which did me no favors in being healthy.

  15. I’ve been stressing about this to my cousin because her daughter is a bit overweight but she thinks its nothing. I really don’t understand some parents… They refuse to accept that something might be wrong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *