Childhood Obesity Prevention
Child health is one of the top priorities of any parent, right next to creating a fun childhood and getting a good education! Childhood obesity prevention can not only help maintain or improve a child’s health, but it can allow them to have more fun in their childhood and even have a positive impact on their education.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), childhood obesity has since doubled (quadrupled for adolescents) in the past three decades. It’s more important now than ever for healthcare networks to create, and families to take advantage of, childhood obesity prevention programs to combat this statistic and help families prevent childhood obesity in their own home.
Child obesity prevention begins in the home. While healthcare networks, like NCHS, can provide significant assistance with childhood obesity management, it’s up to you as a family to recognize childhood obesity and begin the process of childhood obesity prevention.
What’s the difference between overweight and obese?
According to the CDC, overweight is defined as having an excessive body weight (from a combination of fat, muscle, bone, water) for specific heights. Obese on the other hand is defined as having excessive body fat.
How does childhood obesity develop?
Obesity in children is developed as a result of a caloric imbalance, where calories are expended (or “lost”) slower than they are consumed (or “gained”). The rate in which a child consumes or expends calories are impacted by genetics, lifestyle choices (e.g., diet, exercise, etc.), and environmental factors.
Benefits of Childhood Obesity Prevention
Childhood obesity prevention can directly impact the quality of a child’s life. Not only will they be healthier from the get-go, but they’ll have more energy for sports and other physical activities. Once they start making progress with their childhood obesity prevention programs, physical activity becomes easier. As a result, it becomes easier to keep the weight off once they have the physical energy to keep moving on a regular basis.
Improving a child’s health by taking part in childhood obesity management can also drastically improve a child’s self-image or self-worth, further improving their confidence in other areas of their life, including education.
Preventing Childhood Obesity
Reversing the effects of obesity is critical for the wellbeing of your child, not only in his or her current year, but for many years (or decades) to come. Childhood obesity prevention begins with recognizing that your child may be overweight or obese and visiting NCHS for child obesity screening.
From there, your pediatric doctor can help you to develop an obesity prevention plan to help your family strategize and take action towards improving his or her state with obesity.
Pediatric Doctor Locations for Childhood Obesity Prevention
Below you’ll find a list of our NCHS locations that cater to pediatric needs and can help your family with childhood obesity.
- Perris: Adult Medicine and Pediatric Care
- San Marcos: Adult Medicine, Behavioral Health, Dental, Lab and X-Ray, Pediatric Care, Pharmacy and Women’s Health
- Ramona: Adult Medicine, Pediatric Care, Dental Care and Women’s Health
- Mission Mesa: Specialization for Pediatric Care
- Oceanside: Adult Medicine, Pediatric Care and Pharmacy
- La Mision: Adult Medicine and Pediatric Care
- Encinitas: Adult Medicine, Pediatric Care and Women’s Health
- Carlsbad: Adult Medicine and Pediatric Care
Risks Involved in Developing Childhood Obesity
The most substantial reason for children to develop obesity is that they simply consume more calories than they expend. While genetics can play a role in body structure and risk of retaining additional fat, there is far more to child obesity than genes. Environment is a key factor in childhood obesity prevention, as what a child sees others do and eat has a significant effect on his or her own choices. Most parents know that a child is far more likely to follow their actions than their words, meaning that if a parent is constantly snacking on unhealthy foods, consuming sugary drinks, watching television for hours, and so on, the child is more likely to follow suit. Having a positive role model around is a great way to minimize the risks of childhood obesity, even if the child has other risks of developing childhood obesity. Management of weight can be improved with physical exercise, as leading a sedentary lifestyle is a huge risk factor for developing childhood obesity. Prevention programs can help your children start slowly, but ultimately, the best thing for your child is to be active for at least sixty minutes every day.
Sometimes, medical concerns can play a role in childhood obesity. If your child is dealing with a medical diagnosis that limits his or her ability to be active, he or she may need childhood obesity management. Additionally, certain medications can cause children to gain weight, so child obesity screenings may be needed throughout the course of the child’s treatment to ensure a healthy weight is maintained. In addition to diet, exercise, and environment, the other big risks factors that can bring about childhood obesity include psychological and socioeconomic factors. A stressful home life, uninvolved parents, trouble at school, and other psychological factors can lead children to cope by eating and staying inactive by watching television or playing video games often. Socioeconomic factors may include limited access to healthy and fresh foods, or even limited access to childhood obesity screenings and childhood obesity prevention programs. At NCHS, we offer affordable health care that includes childhood obesity prevention and education so that you can improve the lives of your entire family. Childhood obesity management or general health concerns can be discussed with your pediatrician at your next appointment at a location near you.
Positive Lifestyle Changes for Childhood Obesity Prevention
It can be overwhelming to hear that your child’s doctor is concerned about childhood obesity. Management of weight is extremely important for overweight and obese children, but that can be hard to deal with when your children are young. Thankfully, our childhood obesity prevention programs can help your children get to and maintain a healthy weight so that they can be healthy and successful for the remainder of their lives. One big recommendation is to minimize accessibility to high-calorie foods and drinks and replace them with healthy choices. You should also encourage your child to be active, possibly by playing outdoors with him or beginning a family routine of doing something active several times per week.
Get started with your childhood obesity screening and develop a childhood obesity prevention plan with NCHS!