Healthy Families, Healthy Homes: Childhood Obesity | VideoRich Wisniewski | 5/2/2012
"Kinda been technology, you got video games, and other things like that where the kids can stay occupied but they ain`t doing anything active," said Bryan Krahler, a student teacher at Jim Hill Middle School majoring in Physical Education.
Physical Education teachers now have to take on a role that has become far more hands-on then years ago. The obesity rate for kids is an epidemic.
Dietitian Michelle Fundingsland says that lifestyle changes, such as food choices and portions, have contributed to the increase. She advises parents to take some new steps when grocery shopping.
"Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store with fresh fruits and veggies, frozen is fine too, you also want to buy whole grains, the lean meats and the low fat dairy."
When it comes to keeping kids hydrated, Fundingsland says to stay away from the sugar.
"Children don`t need extra sugared drinks in sodas, you want to just give plain water and get them used to tasting that."
Doctors are able to tell the obesity of a child by using a Body Mass Index chart. It shows what the proper weight for a kid to be given their specific age. The BMI charts are available by your doctor. The 50 percent curve on a BMI chart is considered average. Any numbers over tend to push the envelope.
The benefits of physical fitness though, go far beyond a healthy child.
"There have been times when grades have changed, gone up because they`re paying attention more because their active, getting the blood going," said Krahler.
And the lessons of a healthier lifestyle should start at home while being reinforced in school.
There are several ways you can stress a healthy lifestyle to your child:
1. Limit television use to less than two hours.
2. Never eat while watching TV.
3. Stand up and move around during commercials.
4. Do not allow TV, or video games in the child`s bedroom.
5. Parents should be role models for diet and exercise.
6. Do not use food as a reward.
7. Buy only sugar free sodas.
8. Families should eat and exercise together.
9. Parents and children should participate in physical activity for at least one hour every day.
10. Try to enjoy a variety of physical activities, to avoid boredom.