Why is childhood obesity a problem?
There are several medical issues directly associated with obesity:
Is Your Child At Risk?
So what contributes to childhood obesity?
Children, like adults, can eat in response to moods. Emotions that commonly lead to overeating include sadness, loneliness, anger, and celebration. Children can learn to identify their feelings before eating and control the “misinterpreted” urges to eat.
Obese children report a greater number of life changes (indicative of stress) compared with other adolescents. Depression, anxiety, social and behavior problems are commonly reported by obese children.
Exercise As The Solution
Encourage daily activity in obese children. Sports participation contributes to improved fitness levels, specifically increased endurance, strength, self-esteem, energy, and often, improved mood. Family involvement is crucial.
A physical therapist can identify what (if any) changes family members must make to improve the health and fitness level of everyone in the family—not just the obese member. The parents must become good role models with their eating, exercise, and stress management. Strive for an attitude of "we're going to do this together."
Dr. A Mathew MPT, DPT
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