Parents Can Play a Role in Overcoming Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a growing problem in this country. 17% of all American children are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Wow – that’s 1 out of every 6 kids facing a serious health problem.

What’s the cause for alarm? Well, for starters, health problems that we used to see only in adults are creeping into the lives of these overweight kids – Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, to name a few. These conditions are very likely to carry over into adulthood. It’s vital, then, for parents to play an active role in helping their children prevent or overcome obesity while they’re young.

There are a number of ways you can help:

  • Ditch “couch potato culture” by getting active with your kids. Hop on your bikes, walk downtown instead of driving, or go for a beautiful fall hike. Encourage your child to sign up for dance class or the local swim team.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Recent nutrition articles have suggested that you should serve yourself veggies first, filling up half your plate with these nutrient-dense foods, and then adding healthy portions of the other food groups.
  • Try not to give in to the lure of fast foods and processed foods. They’re convenient, but they’re not the best choices for managing weight.
  • Limit your kids’ TV and computer time. You might consider getting all family members the still-popular Pokémon Go app for your phones – it’s screen time that gets everyone out and moving about.
  • Serve thirsty kids water instead of juice or sugary drinks.
  • Follow these tips yourself and be the best example you can be for your kids.

Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chandra L. Day-Houts at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists are concerned with the problem of childhood obesity because it’s inextricably linked to so many foot problems! People who are carrying around extra weight- kids most definitely included – are subjecting their feet to stress fractures, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, and more.

Talk to us about your child’s foot health by calling (334) 396-3668. You can also make an appointment online. Our office is open at 7:30 a.m. several days a week for your convenience.