Obesity has always been around each generation, but today’s youth is seeing a dramatic uptick. For many children, they spend more time sitting than staying active, resulting in poor health. Keeping your children active and engaged is more important than ever, though, to help combat any negative effects of today’s pastimes. 

How Obesity Begins

Some families and their medical backgrounds may make them more pre-disposed to obesity and weight issues, and that’s not what we are trying to impact here. For the majority of children, though, they are simply not moving around as much as they used to. On average, a child spends about 900 hours a year in school, which is mostly sitting in classes. Most schools don’t offer much in the ways of physical education either, unless your child is actively signing up for sports and other extracurricular, physical activities. 

The average child also watches about 1500 hours of TV, amounting to even more sitting. These compound to very little movement overall, except for maybe some hand-eye coordination. Kids aren’t staying regularly active, and may also be eating more processed or sugary foods as well. All these factors create a high risk of obesity. It has been found that by the time a child reaches 4 years old, one in every five of them will be obese. 

How To Keep Your Kids Active

Obviously, if you know there are a lot of sugary or processed foods at home, you can make it a job of the entire household to try and eat healthier. You can always start small and introduce more whole foods every week. Instead of highly processed granola bars from the grocery store, try making your own! These recipes will have more fruits and whole grains, and less sugar. Buy more fruits and veggies and incorporate them into your dinners as much as you can. 

To keep your kids active, a huge factor is limiting how much TV and game time they have each day, or week. Again, if your kids are having a hard time adjusting, do it slowly and remind them of the overall benefits. It can be hard for younger children to see the bigger picture in these types of scenarios, but be persistent. Instead of more devices and games, read a book together, go for a walk, or even pick up a hobby that revolves around movement, such as a dance class. Your children will broaden their horizons while also getting the exercise they truly need!

Katie Kyzivat