It’s very easy to look around and notice that any childhood obesity statistic you point to is headed in an unwanted direction. But what is the best way to fix it?
It started with getting our kids to move more. Sitting around playing video games was destroying our kids’ collective waistlines. If we could just get them moving more life would be great again. Heck–even Ronald McDonald hopped in this bandwagon.
And yet the percentage of obese children continue to grow.
So it must be soda in our schools. Pepsi and Coke weren’t happy about this movement but we did it anyway. And what did we see? Sugar sweetened beverage consumption didn’t change. And how could this be? Because the kids had ready access at home to this marvel of modern chemistry.
We’ve danced around the problem for so long now that we’ve forgotten where it starts. At home.
Sure, school lunches need some work. Sure, we know that things like BPA leads to obesity and diabetes and other chemical exposures are everywhere (of course-parents should NOT be giving their kids bottled water anyway…).
Long before children arrive at school and start to eat school lunches they have been influenced by the parents eating behaviors. This means you.
As parents, we have to stop the cycle. Of course, first we have to recognize the problem, and studies have shown that some parents are having a problem accepting his or her child as being overweight.
Just in case you don’t believe me or think I’m being overly dramatic, this particular study adds additional evidence to the fact that parental obesity is driving childhood obesity statistics in the US off the worldwide charts.
Researchers looked at weight loss interventions for obese children that were at an average of 11.9 years old. They looked at factors that led to an inability to lose weight and one single factor stood out above all else.
Obese children in families where both parents had weight problems were 600% more likely to be unsuccessful.
If you are a parent of an obese child and you yourself have weight issues, you owe it to your child to make the right decisions for yourself first. That means NOT running around stressing about making sure your child eats breakfast or dinner but skipping it yourself.
It means that your exercise is just as important as your child’s soccer or football practice.
It means understanding that the overwhelming stress from work is never worth teaching your children these same coping habits.
Make the decision right now for your family.