Since the introduction of video games and the capability of streaming devices making it more accessible for people to play and enjoy, video games have become a favorite pass time for many people.
Children and young adults are the ones spending an inordinate amount of time in front of the tv and their video games consoles. The trend since 2011 has been a steady increase in the number of hours children 13 and over are spending in front of the television or any mobile device.
The relationship between the number of hours children are spending inactive and the obesity rate cannot be ignored. Ohio’s obesity rate for 2016 was 19 out of the 50 states, and the obesity rate concerning children 10-17-year-olds is 16 out of 50.
Considering the myriad of health-related issues due to obesity, we are not doing enough to combat this social issue. School children are required by the state of Ohio more hours of exercise while attending a public school, but the effort seems insufficient when considering the epidemic level obesity has reached. Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Arthritis and Cancer related due to obesity are predicted to reach frightening levels by the year 2030.
As a concerned parent, what can you do to help your child reach or maintain a healthy body weight? Avoiding common sense bad foods and drinks should be the start of your journey to health and those foods should stay banned for life at your home.
- Sugar-filled drinks— any carbonated, sugar-filled or fruit juices drinks that your children love should be avoided at all costs. Especially if they are drinking several of them while watching tv or playing video games.
- Pizza, Pasta, Bread –If the main ingredient of the foods your children are eating is flour, limit the amount and frequency of those foods. Pizza for a weekly meal is not healthy, even if it sounds delicious.
- Cookies, pastries, desserts – The main ingredients of cookies, pastries or any dessert at the grocery store, are flour and sugar. Oils, high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients that are unhealthy for you follow those ingredients. If you are trying to lose weight, these items should never be in your home, and if you are just trying to maintain your healthy body weight, these items should make an appearance only rarely though out the year.
- Unhealthy oils, butter, margarine – Avoiding unhealthy oils and fats that add to your weight is not simple but doable. Start by using a bit fewer oils every day till you have cut the amount to half, then you can continue till you feel that is a reasonable amount to use.
- Fast Foods – A trip to your favorite fast food place or restaurant can be fun for you and your children, but it is not healthy. French fries, hamburgers, milkshakes and ice cream items from those places are high in calories, sugar, and fats. You can consume your whole daily intake of calories in one trip to these places with no difficulty.
There is a lot of scientific evidence that tells us being overweight is not healthy, that the unhealthy ramifications due to obesity are numerous and scary. Yet, it is very difficult to start eating healthy foods if we have never done it. To change our bad habits, we need to begin working on that change one step at a time. Tackling one bad habit at a time is not cliche, it is necessary. We must stick to a plan and keep trying till the new habit has taken root in our life. The next bad habit will be easier to tackle than the first one, and so forth and so on. Our children and our health deserve we at least give it a try.