The American Psychological Association (APA) states parents can help stop the obesity epidemic.
Earlier this week the APA came out with some staggering statistics http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-08/apa-pch073009.php.
- Childhood obesity has quadrupled in the last 40 years
- In the last decade there has been a tenfold increase in Type-2 diabetes and psychological and social consequences, such as prejudice, rejection, discrimination and low self-esteem in children,” Abramson said at APA’s 117th Annual Convention
- 65% of 11 year old girls think they are fat
According to the APA girls suffer with body image more than boys
I am sure most of us already knew that. In my lifetime there has always been more pressure on girls and women to maintain a certain weight. We are bombarded daily by marketing featuring size 1 and 2 super models. The toll it is taking on our girls saddens me. Starting at age 9, 30% of girls think they are fat, by 11, as stated above, 65% think they are fat.
The article mentioned that mothers often start reducing calories their daughters consume out of worry. These mothers do not want their child to suffer with a weight problem as they have. The problem with just cutting calories is that it can slow the metabolism and further teach the child an unhealthy relationship with food. This can contribute to a lifetime of obesity issues.
What parents can do to help stop the childhood obesity epidemic and protect their child’s’ health
Remember your child is more likely to eat right and become physically active if you are.
Start moving, including planning family activities, like walking, biking, swimming, Frisbee, miniature golf, anything to get your family moving. Remember baby steps will get you where you want to go. Yes, I realize miniature golf doesn’t seem very active to some, but if your family has not had any physical activity, walking around that mini golf course is a wonderful start and it is also a lot of fun! Peter Pan mini golf here I come ( :
Stop dieting! Dieting has created an unhealthy relationship with food in our country. Work on making healthier choices. Remember, a healthy lifestyle = a healthy weight.
Do not put your child on a diet or suddenly make a drastic restriction in the calories they consume. Find a professional Dietitian or Nutritionist for support.