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Parents: You Are to Blame for Your Child’s Obesity

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According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years.

Photography by NHOPHOTOS.com

Parents, you are to blame for your child’s obesity. If you want to know why and how to stop contributing to your child’s obesity, just scroll down the page. Dr. Natalie Muth, author of “Eat Your Vegetables and Other Mistakes Parents Make,” provides great advice for you to end this issue of obesity.

Problem #1: Encouraging your child to eat all of the food on his/her plate

Dr. Muth says that a common parental practice that could lead to childhood weight gain is the “clean plate club.” When parents require their children to eat everything on the plate, kids then lose the ability to use their own feelings of hunger and fullness to decide how much to eat. “And that habit stays with that child for their whole life,” says Dr. Muth.

Problem #2: Bribing children to eat veggies by offering dessert

Another classic mistake parents make is to tell their children that if they eat the vegetables, they can then have dessert. All of a sudden, the dessert becomes a reward. “It starts early, with our preschoolers. We set them up to rely on food-usually unhealthy food-to make them feel good,” notes Dr. Muth. She recommends not catering to picky eaters. “We’re actually setting our kids up to have struggles with their weight down the road,” she says. “Parents need to provide their children with a healthy balanced meal, and the child will come around, and they will eat.” Another great practice is to always keep healthy food in the home “so a child doesn’t have to choose between potato chips and an apple-because really what’s there is an apple and a pear,” said Dr. Muth.

Problem #3: Lack of physical activity

In addition to controlling what they’re eating, Dr. Mush suggests placing them in a physical sport. “We need to get our kids up off the couch and get them moving again. “We need to help our kids to remember how much fun it is to be active and to get moving. Set the stage so that they’re out there doing that and playing and breaking a sweat and having fun.”

Dr. Muth cautions parents about purchasing items that claim to have 100% fruit/vegetables. She notes, “They’ve taken out the fiber. They’ve taken out the good stuff and left you with pretty much sugar in a cup. Our kids are much better off eating the real fruit. They get a lot more vitamins, a lot more minerals, a lot more nutrition, and it fills them up.”

 

235 Comments

  1. radiah

    January 6, 2013 at 9:36 am

    No comments because parents are delusional and unwilling to take blame.

  2. Al

    January 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    1. Obesity. All training begin at home. From what and how much to eat, to get up and go outside and play. From there, comes school training and it is nor should it be just about academia. Whatever happened to physical education. What happened to the required physical involvement of students which also teaches social interaction with peers. When I am sitting around home and listen to my grands and other kids talk about school, seldom do I hear about kick ball and other physical activities. And this shouldn’t stop in elementary school. I remember a time when Juniors would take all of their required (academics) and most required electives doing the first three years, but save the last year for P.E. providing for a more relaxed Senior year. Oh yes, four years of some type of physical education. The only students I remember being excerpt were the school sports players. The change came when funding became an issue and just like Security, PE went out the door. Result, more obesity in our school population.

  3. Christine

    January 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    The advice in the article is all well and fine but there are other contributing factors to child obesity that were not present 30 to 40 years ago. Food has changed. Living wages have barely changed considering inflation. The largest population in poverty are women and children.

    Speaking as a mother that is very consciencious about health, I have a 12 yr old son that is heavy, and when there isn’t the option to buy more than apples, when the apples run out what do you have but some eggs, flour, sugar, and milk to make pancakes.

    Previous comments about not having enough physical education is another matter. It cost money to have kids in activities and if it’s not ideal to have your kids running around the neighborhood, kids don’t get OUT to play. These are some serious problems that can not be singly placed on parents alone. This nation has a responsibility in demanding a better quality of food and pay.

    I work hard. I also go to school so that the time I put into work will earn higher wages. Universities are not designed for older than average students nor are the wages out there designed to support a family, much less a single parented family.

    It is expensive and time consuming but without some type of degree (and that doesn’t guarantee employment) it is considerably tough to continuously feed our children healthy foods when for a couple weeks in a month families have to resort to survival eating.

    Survial eating is whatever can stretch, and it is usually processed foods, starches, and little fruits and veggies. I don’t buy soda and pop, but simple carbs are huge contributors to obesity in children.

    I am an intelligent hard working individual and I feel it is only fair to address the other contributing factors to child obesity that cannot be soley blamed on parents.

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