Childhood Obesity During the Pandemic has Experts Worried!

Millions of children in America are learning from home this academic year – without kickball courts and playgrounds to run around in. There’s also no extracurricular activities or after-school sports! What these children do have is unlimited access to snack pantries in their homes – this, in combination with other factors, has the potential to make the problem of childhood obesity a lot worse.

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Obesity can make even young children prone to developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breathing problems. This has experts worried because there is increasing evidence that shows that people who are obese, regardless of what their age is, are more likely to experience complications from COVID-19.

The advice that experts have for parents is rather simple – adults need to start taking care of themselves first. It’s only by setting a good example that you can expect your children to follow suit.

No one knows for certain when life will go back to being the way it was, when kids will be allowed to run around freely in playgrounds, and when school sporting events will start. Given this, the need of the hour is to take back control of your routine in smaller ways.

Here are a few tips that parents can put into effect to help their children make healthier choices.

1. Clean out the junk food from the snack pantry.

2. Cooking meals should not be something only the adults are responsible for – have your children help you.

3. Get rid of high-calorie drinks like soda.

4. Keep healthy snacks stocked up at home.

5. Set a bedtime for your child, and make sure to stick to it.

6. Pencil in a few hours of screen-free time every week.

7. Encourage your children to speak about feelings of anxiety or stress.

8. Create an area within your home or in your backyard for your children to play

Keep in mind that children are visual learners. So, if they see you snacking on a bag of chips after work, they’ll think it’s okay for them to do the same thing – this is not the example you want to set for your children. Also, figure out what activities your children like doing, and motivate them to continue doing the same things.