Shaquanda L. Taylor
Obesity in America is at an all-time high and parents need to be concerned about the rise of obesity in children and youth because obesity may lead to the following health problems: heart disease caused by high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, and social discrimination. Solution 1: We as parents should be a positive influence in our children’s eating habits through parenting style. Parents should be the first positive teacher when it comes to children’s eating habits because the world (meaning television, fast food restaurants, peers, etc.) can have a “peer pressure” effects on them when it comes to unhealthy eating. What parents eat set an example of how their children will eat. We as parents influence our children’s eating habits through parenting style, how meals are structured, and also by the types of food we provide. Being a positive teacher to children plays a major part in health because “we are what we eat”. For example, if we consume lots of salty chips, and high sugar sodas as well as our children, the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes will occur. We need to develop daily healthy eating habits for our children that begin with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products. Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products and choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein. Another important factor is to serve reasonably-sized portions while drinking lots of water. Although children love sodas and fruit juices, there needs to be a limit on sweetened beverages.
Solution 2: Parents should be a positive influence by how meals are structured, and also by the types of food we provide. Structure really means planned and it is important to offer foods regularly rather than waiting for children to say they are hungry. Children’s poor eating and exercise habits are established during childhood. Children who have regular eating schedules learn to eat nutritious meals and snacks and these healthy eating habits may stick with them through adulthood. When children eat well and be nutrients they need, they have a better chance in life. It supports health growth and developmental while giving the child energy needed for school and daily activities. It's good for young children to see their parents and siblings eating together and eating healthy foods because they will learn from it and use it as they grow older.
Call to action: Parents and family members need to take a stand quickly because childhood obesity and in adolescents is on the rise and will be one of the top 5 killers in America along with billions of dollars for treatment. Many communities throughout the