I say this because being overweight can lead to serious medical diseases such as, heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, cardiovascular disease and so much more. Along with these physical side effects, psychological damage can occur by being obese as a child as well. I say this because as a child you are sensitive to so many things. If a bully makes fun of you in school, a child gets hurt. If a child can't play a certain sport because of his or her weight, that can lead to depression and lifelong issues. There are many other examples I can give but I think you get the point.
The main cause of childhood obesity is simply lifestyle. Life as we know it has so many easy benefits. We "drive" to work, we can sit and relax playing Xbox, we can literally "eat" all the time, and we don't even have to "cook" half the food we eat! What a difference from even 20-50 years ago. The lack of activity and unhealthy food has made our nation obese. Instead of walking, we drive. Instead of cooking our healthy meals, we eat out. Instead of playing outside, children get wrapped up in video games for HOURS a night!
Let me explain something to you right now that will help you understand weight loss in general.
For someone to lose weight, a person must burn more calories than they consume. This is simple in theory, but the same holds true. You must keep your body active and burn those calories. For long lasting weight loss, there is a lot more included but for now we just need to understand this concept.
Do you see why America's children are obese? Everything aspect of life is passive and inactive as I explained above. WE need to stop this from occurring and get our children active and healthy.
Why? This isn't only about what a child looks or moves like. It's all about the health of the child. Along with all the diseases I mentioned above, it can lead to a long lifestyle of being unhealthy. An obese child will most likely continue being obese as they grow up. Look at your schoolmates when you were in school. Have you seen any of them recently? Not to pick on any of your schoolmates, but remember those obese classmates? Are they still obese? Case closed. Now some of them may have lost weight and that's awesome but more than likely they haven't. Remember I am not picking on anybody just showing an example of what can happen. Maybe you were that classmate? If you were, I am so happy you are reading this.
The reason why this happens to children and adults is lack of education. Within families sometimes, things are not known, as in the benefits of eating well. I don't ever remember learning how to lose weight properly in school or how to maintain a healthy weight. Do you? Was there a class called, "living healthy?" I don't think there was. So where does this education come from and how can someone obtain this information? Well there are many great sources out there. I am a personal trainer so of course I know a personal trainer is a great way to go, but there are other resources. At any doctors office there is free paperwork on these topics. The main point though that I am trying to stress is that people just don't know about this type of education or see the need for it!
A popular saying that many parents use is, "You must eat everything on your plate, because there are starving children who aren't as lucky to have food as you are!" Have you heard that before? This common saying does nothing but damage; it instills in our children the need to eat everything, all of the time. What this saying is doing is making our children sick and obese. I know some of you reading this may be rolling your eyes. And I understand, we are all trained to eat everything on our plates. The older folk seem to be more prone to this! Look at the plate sizes at restaurants nowadays. HOLY CRAP! Do you really think that saying is as applicable currently as it was in the past? No, portion control is key!
Why not just simply serve less on your plate? Would that help with obesity issues? Heck yes it would! This is just one topic that needs to be covered with our nation's children; a serving size is the size of a closed fist, not the size of a bowling ball.
Education is huge when it comes to succeeding at anything. By far the most important step is realizing that something is wrong, and that step can only happen once we are informed. Reading this article may be the most important thing for yourself and your family. This may prevent thousands of dollars of hospital bills due to obesity. This may prevent another recession, due to obese individuals costing 6 times more than a healthy person in the medical field. A recent study showed that if we don't change our ways now, by 2030, we will be facing another recession because of obese people. Think about it. This is scary and this can really back fire on America and our children. Every French fry that is ate, every soda drank, and every video game played instead of exercising and moving around is taking us one step closer to this epidemic.
You have taken the first steps to helping our children out just by reading this. You are getting informed and you are going to learn some simple things you can do to help your kids or grandkids out. Heck even help the neighbor boy out!
I am not writing this in a step by step process. Nor am I writing down tips and tricks. I am going to tell you lifestyle changes that must be made to fix this situation. Lifestyle changes must be made to ensure a continued effort at success is always in progress.
Here is a Child's Success System that works. This system I am about to share with you will cover the needed areas to make this change happen. Now, I can't explain everything that's included with this process but a basic overview will help you get started.
Its called the "4 Pillars to Success." It takes four very important training methods and puts them into one program, leaving you with the only option, success! I will be aiming everything towards how to help fix childhood obesity problems and what you can do to help a child.
4 Pillars to Success
"The Fat Loss System That Works Every Time"
Pillar #1: Exercise
This may be a no brainer, but my questions is that why don't more people exercise? Everyone knows about exercise and its benefits. Why isn't it happening more frequently? Children need to exercise, but it's not the weight pumping, treadmill running type of exercise that I am talking about. I certainly will not recommend an eight year old to run on the treadmill for 45 minutes 4 days a week. I am talking about just physical activity and teaching them about exercise and its benefits. If I child doesn't know about exercise, whose fault is it that then if the child doesn't exercise? Teach them that it helps with proper growth and it's important to implement in their life. I am not talking about sitting a eight year old child down and explaining to him what a bench press exercise is, but instead telling him/her that it's better to ride their bike than ride in a car.
Most kids learn by example and they copy others. The question is: Are you exercising and showing a good example? If a child sees you exercising and making healthy choices in life, they will to. They want to be like mom and dad! When they are old enough it's smart to just "talk" to them about it. For example "Billy (8 year old boy) how about you come to the gym with me today and let's do some swimming?" This is perfect because they see you exercising and will want to as well. It will be a family event!
Educate and lead by example, demonstrate your passion for health and activity. If you aren't passionate about it, GET PASSIONATE ABOUT IT! As you can see this will help you with your fitness goals as well. This is aimed at children but you can benefit from it as well.
Pillar #2: Nutrition
As I was saying earlier in this guide, children may be eating the wrong foods or too much. I bet you have an idea of what bad food is right? Fast food, pizza, cake, cookies, candy, and Hungry Man meals are all examples. You know what? I am human also, so I like these foods as well. I bet you are thinking to yourself, "Oh boy, he is going to tell me what I can and cannot eat!" But I am not going to do that at all, I'm just going to tell you about nutrition and then let you make up your own mind.
Let me explain one vital thing about food. There isn't a good or bad food. There is only good, better, and best foods. It's all based on nutritional content. You need to look at foods this way so you will always think about nutritional content! If you have to decide between a french fry or an apple which one has more nutritional value? Of course the apple.
Another very important thing to understand is that your body needs nutrients to survive. These nutrients will determine how you feel and look ultimately. Of course genetics come onto play but we will just focus on the things we can control.
So where does this leave us? Children need to be taught to make good food choices. This all starts with you again. Do you see how much of an impact you have on this child's life? Plus, you will look smokin' after you are done; which is an added benefit to helping children with obesity issues.
Having a child help with dinner is a great example of a good teaching opportunity. Or take them shopping and have them pick out something they want. If they pick out a snickers bar, tell them they can have that if they pick out one nutritious food also. Simple. That just taught the child that there is not "bad" food but there is healthier food to choose from as well.
Watching what they eat at schools and other places is just as important. Sometimes children get fussy and want what they want! I have worked with many parents and I hear this all the time, "I make a special meal for the kid and I eat my own meal." Doesn't that sound like a lot of work?
This could be the time to tighten up the stiff upper lip and get them to eat healthy. They will push you around if you let this happen. And believe me I have seen this work, they will give you crap at first but then they will like those veggies they have always hated. In the future they will thank you, trust me they will (even if it's many years down the road)!
Another great idea is that as they age teach them how to pack a healthy lunch for themselves. Who doesn't at some point in time have to pack a lunch? Obviously this is a lifelong technique everyone needs.
Healthy food groups to include in a child's meals should be 100% whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, a good array of vegetables, beans, natural water, and fruits! Some of the "not-so" good food would be processed foods, fried foods, sugary foods, starchy foods, refined grains, artificial ingredients and soda pop!
Pillar #3: Physical Activity
This basically is the same as exercise but it involves a little more planning. What physical activity means is keeping your body moving and active. Sitting on the couch for 5 hours is NOT physical activity even if your arm is moving to reach for the chips. Or if I know you, you will be reaching for an apple now right? See your learning already!
Back to the physical activity, some examples of this are: evening walks around the block, limiting TV watching to only 30 minutes to 1 hour a night, playing outside, etc. Keeping your kids active this way will help them stay in shape and burn calories. Like I said before, you must burn calories. Children are piling on weight because they are eating too much and being sedentary. Keep them moving, teach them good habits and have fun with this.
Pillar #4: Sleep
Children need rest just as much as adults. 7-8 hours of sleep a night should be the ultimate goal. Be sure there are bed times and a wake up times and stick to them. Running your body on low rest will just end in disaster. Hormones get out of whack and your body thinks it's in a stressful environment and it will put on weight. Don't let this happen.
A couple tips for improving sleep would be:
-Avoid stimulants before bed
-Create a sleeping environment
-Control their naps during the day
-Clear your mind before bed
-Get them to relax 1 hour before bed
-Keep the child's stress to a minimum
-Turn the lights off
-Make sure your sleeping space is comfortable
-Keep track of what they are thinking before bed to track what thoughts keep them up
-Read them a calming book before bed
-Keep the bed for sleep and other related activities
These are the four most important aspects of health. Remember also that a child's happiness is a reflection of how they will act and look like. Through these four pillars, the child will be bound to be happy! As you can see you are a very important piece of the puzzle. Whether you are a parents, grandparent, friend, cousin, brother or sister, you now have the responsibility to help out and do your part in helping a child out. Remember it all comes down to the nurture of the child. Don't fall for the common mistake of thinking, "I was just born fat." That obviously isn't what it's about. As you can see now it's the lifestyle they are taught, and hopefully will pursue the healthiest of lifestyles in their future.