Unfortunately yes, dying young is a major health problem of an obese child. In fact this is the first generation in a long time, where statistically speaking the chances of children dying before their parents is rising. It is very sad particularly when it is totally avoidable through education, a decent diet and exercise.
Does that mean that the parents are at fault if their child is obese? No of course not, life is never that simple. There could be an underlying medical reason why the child is overweight but in general it comes down to a poor understanding of basic home economics. People lack the knowledge required to ensure that their families are eating healthy food. This is not just because of a lack of education but in some cases it is a lack of cash as well. Decent food can be more expensive. A huge amount of money spent by various food retailers on marketing to convince us that certain foods are good for us. For example the fast food restaurants introducing bags of salad in a bid to convince us that eating in their establishment was healthy. With so much miss-information being given out by the media and advertising, why are we surprised that childhood rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and other illnesses are increasing?
So what can we do? We can all start by re-educating ourselves and our families. Work on what happens in your own home first before you try and take on the world. Teach your children the basics of good food nutrition. You can borrow or buy plenty of books on the subject from your local bookstore or library. Your medical clinic may employ a dietician who can help you to draw up a healthy menu for your family.
Start by ditching all the processed food you can. If you can’t give your family a homecooked meal every evening, at least aim to do it on five out of the seven nights. Insist your kids eat their dinner around a table perhaps while discussing their day with you and their siblings. Turn off the TV or the computer and enjoy an old fashioned healthy meal.
Every meal you eat should include some vegetables or fruit, ideally the former. We all know we should be eating five different types of fruit or vegetables a day. Try and get into the habit of doing this. It isn’t going to be easy as your kids may not like vegetables but I am sure there are ways and means you can adopt to fool them. You can try giving them grated raw carrot if they hate cooked ones. Blend up vegetables and hide them in the pasta sauce. Try combining fruit and vegetables in home made juices. Get your kids involved in preparing the dinner as they are more likely to eat the food afterwards.
As well as eating more healthy foods, you need to get your children outdoors doing physical activities. Try walking to school if possible and going to the park or playground as a matter of routine rather than a one off treat. Small changes will lead to bigger ones. Your child’s future is at stake. It is up to you to avoid them suffering the health problem of an obese child.