“Energy Imbalance” is an issue in some children who weigh more than a healthy weight. In other words, they eat more calories than they burn in physical activities. Which is why they weight higher than healthy. These children may not have any emotional issues that contribute to overeating. It is necessary to teach such children about the healthy eating and healthy lifestyle. It will help them getting fit physically as well as mentally.
Some overweight children may still suffer from “disordered” or “Emotional” eating patterns. And some may have an actual binge eating disorder of level of depression. If that’s the case, the child may be using food and mal-adaptive eating behaviors to take care of emotional needs.
Let’s talk about the health risks of overeating
Weight gain is a major concern of overeating. And the ratio is increasing day by day. Children who are overweight or obese are at risk for serious health problems as they get older, including:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- sleep apnea
- some types of cancer
Ways to improved health
By teaching and encouraging healthy eating habits, you are giving your child important tools for a lifetime of healthy living. Your guidance is important even for teens who may prepare their own snacks and meals and plan their own activities.
- Be a good role model. Choose healthy foods and snacks for yourself.
- Have healthy snacks in your home (for example, fruits like apples and bananas, raw vegetables like carrots and celery, or low-fat yogurt).
- Include plenty of low-fat proteins, vegetables, and whole grains in the meals you make.
- Keep giving your child healthy food. Children are not always open to new things right away. If you continue to offer healthy choices, you will improve the chances that your child will develop healthy eating habits.
- Teach your child how to make healthy choices for school lunches.
- Avoid fast-food dining. If you do eat at a fast-food or sit-down restaurant, choose the healthiest meals available.
- Forget the “clean plate rule.” Your child should stop eating when he or she feels full.
Benefits of Physical Activity
Physical activity has many benefits, including the following:
- Helps the body burn calories instead of storing them as body fat.
- Helps keep blood sugar levels more balanced and in a normal range (especially important for children who have, or are at risk for, diabetes).
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Helps make bones and muscles strong.
- Builds strength and endurance.
- Decreases stress and improves sleep and mental well-being.
What can I do to encourage my child to be more physically active?
Limit your child’s screen time to no more than 1 to 2 hours a day. Screen time includes playing video or computer games, surfing the internet, texting, and watching TV or DVDs. Set a good example by limiting your own screen time, too.
Help your child find physical activities he or she enjoys. For example, your child might enjoy participating in team sports, dancing, playing outdoors, or doing volunteer work.