Childhood Obesity

By: KW Now - Online Community Hub | Published 12/29/2019


Childhood Obesity

Obesity rates among children and youth in Canada have nearly tripled in the last 30 years.

Children and youth who are obese are at higher risk of developing a range of health problems, and weight issues in childhood are likely to persist into adulthood.

For example, obese children have a high chance of remaining obese as adults.

Health problems for obese children

Obese children are more likely to develop a range of health problems, including:

Physical health problems

  • high blood pressure or heart disease
  • type-2 diabetes
  • sleep apnea and other breathing problems
  • abnormal or missed menstrual cycles
  • bone and joint problems
  • reduced balance

Emotional health problems

  • low self-esteem and negative body image
  • depression
  • feeling judged
  • being teased or bullied

Helping your child maintain a healthy weight

As a parent, there are several ways to encourage your child to develop healthy eating habits and be physically active.

Tips for eating healthy

  • By following the food guide, you and your family can make healthy food choices and develop healthy eating habits.
  • Set a good example for your children by being a role model for healthy eating. Your children are more likely to try new foods if you eat them too.
  • Eat meals together as a family as often as possible. Make food the focus. Turn off the TV and put away electronic devices during mealtime. Children often eat better without these distractions.
  • Involve children in planning and preparing meals and snacks. This is a great way to teach kids healthy eating habits while connecting and spending quality time together as a family.

Tips for being physically active

  • Children and teenagers should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. This can include walking to and from school, playing sports, or riding a bike.
  • Set a good example. Try to add physical activity to your daily routine and encourage your children to join you.
  • Limit the amount of time your children spend on sedentary activities like watching television, playing video games, and surfing the web.
  • Be aware of the opportunities your community offers to help your family stay healthy. Are there bike paths nearby? What community programs are available throughout the year?

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