Motivating Children to Lose WeightPosted: January 17, 2012 in Obesity Medicine by Craig Primack MD FACP
Childhood obesity rates have skyrocketed in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 17 percent of children under the age of 19 are overweight. Motivating a child to lose weight can be challenging. Along with the associated health problems, excess weight can also lead to feelings of low self-esteem. It’s important to stress the benefits of weight loss without making exercise or healthy eating seem like a chore. As a parent, there are things you can do to motivate your child to achieve healthy weight loss in Chandler.
Lead by Example
Parental involvement is necessary for successful childhood weight loss. Just as children who have one obese parent are more likely to suffer from weight issues, children who grow up in active households are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Make exercise a fun part of your lives by planning activities that you can enjoy with your children. Take a nightly after-dinner walk around the neighborhood, spend the weekends hiking or biking, play catch, or turn up the music and dance.
Provide the Proper Tools
Just as children need supplies to succeed in school; they also need the right equipment to lead an active lifestyle. Supply your children with a variety of toys that stimulate active play. Provide balls of all sizes, jumping ropes, flying discs, hula-hoops and tricycles, bicycles and roller skates with the appropriate safety equipment. Survey your neighborhood for parks or other spaces where children can play safely outdoors. Encourage your children to engage in at least 60 minutes of active play every day.
Get the Help You Need
Long-term, lasting weight loss is difficult. An encouraging support network of peers, family members and authority figures can help children achieve their weight loss goals. A physician-aided program is a safe and effective place to start.