What to Know About Childhood Obesity

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In the last 30 years, childhood obesity has doubled in the United States according to the CDC. In Indiana, 14.3 percent of 10 to 17 year olds are obese. The increase in childhood obesity has led to corresponding increases in obesity related health conditions like diabetes and juvenile arthritis.

There are multiple factors that contribute to childhood obesity. Eating too much, specifically eating too many calories and carbohydrates, is a primary one. In addition, inactivity or lack of exercise is also a strong contributor. Some children have conditions that make them more prone to obesity including thyroid conditions.

If you are worried about obesity in your family, talk to your doctor and make a plan for your family. Steps your doctor may advise include better eating, portion control and eating healthier foods, including more vegetables and fewer starches. Help your children increase physical activity, which might include playing fewer video games and engaging in more outdoor activities like playing sports or riding bikes.

In addition, it is essential if you are trying to help your children live a healthier lifestyle for you to set a positive example for them. If you want your child to eat better, you should try to eat better as well. It can be helpful to exercise with your children. Go outside and play a game or exercise with them. Plus, you should impress upon them the necessity of living a healthy life. Let them know the long-term benefits of healthy eating and exercise.

Childhood obesity is a problem, but it is one that can be dealt with by planning, hard work and patience.

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