Treating childhood obesity with natural health

Obesity in childhood can be prevented

We’re facing a major problem with obesity, not only in the UK but across the world. This widespread condition is life-threatening, make no bones about it. We must act on this now or we face issues that will affect not only health, but the financial stability of our healthcare system.

What are the major causes of childhood obesity?

1. Lack of activity – our children are growing up in an age where TV and computer games dominate their everyday existence.

2. Eating high-fat, processed and sugary foods – many parents are feeding their children convenience foods because of hectic schedules.

3. Drinking soft drinks and sugary fruit juices – water has been replaced with these drinks when kids get thirsty.

What are the health implications of childhood obesity?

If your child is overweight they significantly increase the risk of developing conditions such as:

– Heart disease
– High blood pressure
– Gastro-intestinal problems (such as IBS)
– Fibromyalgia (muscle pain and fatigue)
– Type 2 diabetes

Cases of type 2 diabetes have increased by an extra 50,000 within the last 12 months alone. An obese child,  by the time they reach 30 years old, could be suffering conditions such as heart disease, kidney failure, loss of a limb or blindness (both caused by arterial disease). By the time they reach middle age, they could suffer a premature death. All this because they developed diabetes through overeating and having the wrong nutrition in their diet.

And it’s not just physical conditions that a child can suffer. Being obese can make your child have a lack of concentration, low self-esteem or develop depression. Being obese can lead to bullying at school which will take its toll on their emotional well-being. The wrong nutrition in a child’s diet can also lead to toxins building up in their system which has been attributed to poor mental health.

Parents and carers, you can do something about this.

Control childhood obesity with good nutrition and activity

By actively helping and working with your child to change their diet and lifestyle you can avoid a lifetime’s risk of illness, disease and emotional trauma.

Diet
Avoiding health complications needn’t be enforcing a strict diet with little calories. Sensible nutritious eating is what a child requires so replace all that junk food that is full of fat and sugar with proper sources of nutrients. A growing child requires a certain amount of calories but these shouldn’t come from processed food.

Reduce the amount of sugar your child is eating (but that doesn’t mean to say they can’t have the odd treat!). Sugar contributes to obesity and also creates tooth cavities. Sugar isn’t just found in fizzy drinks and sweets – junk food, white bread and juice drinks often contain high levels of sugar. Water is, and always will be, the best thirst-quenching drink so encourage them to have that instead.

Physical activity and exercise
Getting the diet right is part of the battle with the bulge, exercise is the next important step. Exercising contributes to balancing blood sugar levels – an important aspect of managing diabetes. Too much time in front of the TV and playing computer games has caused a generation to grow up indoors so get your child out of the house. A minimum of half an hour’s exercise per day is recommended if your child is already overweight.

You could start by walking with your child to school or when the dog needs exercising. As they get used to physical activity, increase intensity and duration. This could include taking part in team sports or jogging.

State of mind
If your child is overweight or obese, their mental state may be fragile and your attempts to make them lose weight could backfire resulting in them overeating. Remember they may have cravings for sugary foods because these foods can be addictive. Also bear in mind that your child may be suffering with emotional problems at school with bullying. Consider using a trained counsellor to help your child overcome any psychological barriers that are preventing them from losing weight.

Preventing childhood obesity

Prevention is also better than cure so don’t let you child become overweight in the first place by making sure they eat the right foods and get plenty of exercise. However, if they’re already overweight now is the time to act. You can make a difference. Do it before obesity affects your child’s health.


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