Updated: Jan 29, 2020
Let's shut off the TV, iPad or game system for a bit. Some time looking at the screen is okay, but not being active is the main reason why a high number of adults and children are obese. Continue reading and we'll get into the reasoning behind this.
I remember starting wrestling in the 6th grade like it was yesterday. My P.E. teacher who was also the wrestling coach would pick me up and take me to open mat. I eventually earned my spot on the varsity team from 7th to 12th grade. To this day, I proudly still hold the takedown record from my high school.
With many people being dependent on electronics, there's a big change in the health of not only adults but children also. Can you believe that 18% of the total number in school-aged children in the U.S. are obese? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (also known as the CDC), nine states in the U.S. are well over 20% for school-aged children being obese.
The question is, How do we fix this problem? There's a simple solution, but at the same time it isn't as easy as you think. Many illnesses and diseases can be prevented just by ensuring that children are eating the correct foods and being physically active more often. Kids who are active are less likely to develop health risks such as asthma, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
First, limiting screen time and encouraging the youngsters to do something they enjoy like having Nerf gun wars or playing good old fashioned hide & seek is a start. Heck, my oldest son loves Nerf guns! If it can fit into your budget, I recommend a sport like pee-wee soccer or even basketball. Sports will usually keep your kids busy and not sitting for 5 hours a day playing their Xbox or being bored which gives kids a reason to do something that gets them into trouble. When it's cold outside, just be aware that kids have a larger body surface area than adults making your little ones lose more body heat causing them to get sick faster. When they're outside in the heat, their bodies can't cool off like an adult (sweating) making them more susceptible to a heat related injury.
Second, better food choices is a huge thing. Instead of rushing to the drive-thru line or loading the family up with food full of corn fructose syrup, make foods like carrots & apple slices with peanut butter or leafy greens with chicken breast combined for a salad an option. Unfortunately, the food industry is tough making 2 pounds of fruits and vegetables just as expensive as a small box of Hamburger Helper that would only last 1 meal. Here's a secret though. 2 Cups of a Leafy green salad mixture with a small amount of dressing will fill you up quicker than 1 slice of pepperoni pizza (just about equal in size). The sensors outside of your stomach will be activated faster by the veggies which tells your brain that your full before over-eating. The grease in the pizza will encourage your sensors to tell your brain that you're still hungry which will stretch your stomach a bunch, before your brain finally knows that you've eaten more than enough. See how this works?
Obesity and being unhealthy at a young age does carry over into adulthood too which sometimes does include depression, anxiety and even being socially closed off from other people. I sometimes have to remind myself that I'm spending too much time on my computer, because my 1 year old will try to climb into my lap blocking the view of my laptop.
Remember, changing what you eat and becoming active will not only increase your health but will do so for your children as well!