Childhood Obesity Myths and Facts

PowerPlay Obesity Management

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Childhood obesity is a common problem. In fact according to the CDC, Center for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of our children are overweight or obese. This epidemic has caused several myths to surface. Myths only distort understanding. Let’s clear some of these myths up so childhood obesity can be faced and dealt with.

Myth #1 – Soda causes childhood obesity

Soda alone doesn’t cause diabetes. A child who drinks a lot of soda and also has poor eating habits may be obese. If that same child is also living a sedentary life, then obesity may be the result. However, soda alone does not cause obesity, but it does contribute to it.

Myth #2 – Obesity is inherited and you can’t do anything about it

It’s true that you tend to see obesity run in families. If a child is obese, chances are the parents are also obese or overweight. However, it is uncommon for genetics to cause obesity. Occasionally a child may be born with a hormonal imbalance that causes obesity, but that’s not the norm.

In most cases a parent has simply passed on their poor eating habits and inactive lifestyle to their children. Those two elements combine to cause obesity. Eat a healthy diet and get active and obesity can be reversed, even if the parents stay overweight.

Myth #3 Obese children are just lazy

Absolutely not. Obese children are the same as any other children. They love to play and be active. However, it’s also very easy to be sedentary today. Video games, electronic devices and television all keep children indoors and on the couch. Children of all ages and sizes need to be motivated by the adults in their life to get outside and to move their bodies.

Obesity can be reversed. Children can learn to live a healthy and active lifestyle. They can grow up into strong and healthy adults. However, they need the help of the adults in their life. They need guidance, controls and limits. They may also need motivation from time to time.

The Center for Childhood Obesity offers these simple recommendations:

* Five fruits and vegetables each day
* 2 hours of screen time, or less, each day
* 1 hour of physical activity each day
* 0 sugar sweetened beverages each day

Childhood obesity doesn’t have to be a life sentence. In the majority of cases, the simple act of eating healthier foods and getting active can turn it around. Learn the myths and uncover the facts about childhood obesity. Help your child live a better life.

To the health of you and your child,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Specialist in Family and Consumer Studies

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