Did you know that an obese teenager has a 70% chance of becoming an obese adult? During their youth, obese children are more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 Diabetes. The conditions that were once only seen in adults are becoming more and more common in children. It’s a scarey thought!!
How Can We Keep our Children at a Healthy Weight?
You can help keep your child(ren) at a healthy weight and prevent obesity by encouraging and setting an example yourself by eating healthy and exercise. Even for you, it’s a good thing to develop healthy habit, regardless of your age.
According to the United States Dietary Guidelines, children should do the following:
* Consume whole-grain products often; at least half the grains (e.g., breads, cereals, rice, crackers, etc.) should be whole grain.
* Consume 2 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products for children 2 to 8 years old. Children 9 years of age and older should consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.
* Keep total fat intake between 30-35% of calories for children 2 to 3 years old and between 25-35% for children and adolescents 4 to 18 years old. Most of the fat consumed should come from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils.
* Consume sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables.
* Prepare and eat meals at home 5 or 6 times/week.
* Provide a healthy breakfast every day.
* Bouts of physical activity should last 15 minutes or more several times throughout the day.
* Periods of inactivity should last no more than 2 hours.