Parents and Caregivers
Here's what you can do.
Congratulations! The fact that you're reading this means you're already on your way toward encouraging a healthy lifestyle. The simple key to preventing obesity in children is to start early. Practice the Major Easy 3 steps and never let excess weight become a problem.
Start small. Win big.
To prevent obesity, here's the right mindset: it's not about appearance, it's about health. Childhood obesity leads to a whole host of health problems later in life. If we can start good habits at a very early age, the chances are good that they will last a lifetime.
- Drink milk with meals (or appropriate substitute beverage if you are lactose intolerant) and only drink water for refreshment (no sweetened beverages).
- Don't drink your calories. Cutting out a typical serving of sugar-sweetened soda or juice per day can eliminate as much as 10 pounds a year.
- Studies show that eating meals and snacks at the family table directly helps family members lose or maintain weight.
Ask your Doc
Your physician likely has great resources to help you. Don't be afraid to ask. Also, check out online resources in the box on the left.
The Dangers of Obesity
By Paula Gustafson, MD
Childhood obesity is a global problem. But as a physician, I know that this epidemic can be stopped in its tracks through prevention.
I've seen and treated several young patients challenged by obesity and its consequences. One involves a 14-year-old teenage girl – let's call her Brianna – and her mother, both of whom are obese. I've been Brianna's pediatrician since her birth.
About two years ago Brianna's mother was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. She soon recognized the emerging symptoms of diabetes in her daughter. The emotions of helplessness and self-reproach were terrible. Though both had been repeatedly warned of the consequences of obesity during clinical visits, no changes had been made. Understanding the concerns of unchecked obesity came too late. Brianna was soon diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
It took Brianna's mother over four decades to develop diabetes. It took barely 10 years for Brianna to develop the same condition. Neither situation had to happen.
This incident illustrates the dangers of unchecked obesity. We don't want any more young children or teenagers to go through what Brianna will have to go through.
With the Major Easy 3 program, we can help this problem go away.
The Major Easy 3 program is just the beginning in our fight against childhood obesity. Practicing healthy eating habits is step one, especially for children who are already overweight or obese. Step two is to get our kids moving!
- Improves our mood
- Combats chronic diseases
- Gives us more energy
- Promotes better sleep
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
- Let's Move!
Launched by Michelle Obama, this program focuses on empowering a healthy start for children, empowering parents and caregivers, providing healthy food in schools, improving access to healthy and affordable foods, and increasing physical activity.
- Wellspring Camps
Wellspring camps offer campers approaches to fitness and weight loss that focus on developing long-term healthy lifestyles. Wellspring camps are NOT fat camps, which only focus on losing weight during the camp. In contrast, Wellspring camps teach and encourage campers to change their lifestyle habits in order to lose weight and keep it off.
- Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts
- Girl Scouts