Preventing Childhood Obesity

Today, Dr. Dallen Ormond from Family First Pediatrics stopped by to discuss the growing problem of childhood obesity in the United States.

As a culture we are surrounded by consumerism, incorrect perceptions, and traditions. The average Miss America Contestant is between 5’9” and 5’10” and weighs 120-125 lbs. The healthy weight for a woman this size is 145-155 lbs. Fad diets are also very prevalent in our society--ranging from the “low fat” diets of the 90’s to the low carb, high protein diets of today. Even with these fad diets and unrealistic body weights and images, obesity is continually on the rise in our society.  

As one of the hardest working nations, with workers putting in over 40 hours a week, we tend to crave energy and reach to caffeine and sugar. Americans eat large amounts of unhealthy foods because they are cheap and easily stored. As a result, the vast majority of Americans are eating either pre-prepared food or eating out.  Society has also placed value on “getting more for our money” and have a skewed perception of what a serving size actually is. This leads us to eat more food than we should.

Unfortunately, the bad habits of adults are playing a large role in the childhood obesity epidemic. Dr. Ormond shared that studies have found if one parent is obese, then there is a 40% chance of the child being obese. And if both parents are obese? The child's chances of maintaining a healthy weight go significantly down.

Dr. Ormond gave us some tips on how to help avoid childhood obesity

1)      Give children healthy choices at meal time

2)      Give children the opportunity to not be hungry or say when they are done

3)      Parents enforce when it’s not meal time

4)      Parents regulate snacks and snack time

5)      Allow 1 hour of vigorous physical activity per day

6)      Eat lots of whole fresh fruits and vegetables

7)      Have a good relationship with food

8)      Make sure they get adequate sleep

9)      Avoid simple carbohydrates (sugar, white flour, white rice, processed foods) 

For more information visit Families First Pediatrics.

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