“The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing
at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or
obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,”
said Jeff Neal, DO of Catawba Valley Cardiology. “But parents, the
good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented!” This New
Years, Dr. Neal challenges you to make your child’s health a priority
by committing to these simple resolutions:
Try one new fruit or vegetable every week. It’s easy to get stuck
in a routine eating the same foods every week, but by incorporating a
new food into your meal at least once a week you not only are helping
improve their health, you’re also teaching them to not be afraid
to try new things.
Cook and eat one more meal at home together every week. What better way
to get your children interested in eating healthy foods than by involving
them in cooking healthy meals? By planning and preparing a meal together
you start instilling healthier habits that will stick with your children,
as they grow older. It is also said that sitting down and eating a family
meal helps kids preform better at school, it reduce stress and improves
Turn screen time into active time. During colder months children stay inside
more often, which inevitably leads to spending too much time in front
of the TV or computer. It is estimated that kids spend over 7½
hours a day on all screen media combined (i.e., TV, videos, DVDs, computers
and video games). Too much screen time and not enough physical activity
add to the problem of childhood obesity. The U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) recommends that children and adolescents engage
in 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day while the American
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting screen time to less than
2 hours daily.
If you’re concerned that your child or teen may be overweight, make
an appointment with your health care provider, who can assess eating and
activity habits and make suggestions on how to make positive changes.
Make sure your child starts this new year on a healthy note. Visit the
Catawba Valley Medical Group online to find a health care provider near you.