CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The percentage of children and adolescents in the United States affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Doctor Kenneth Perry at Trident Medical said we used to think there was a cure for childhood obesity without seeing the long-term effects.
“We’re starting to realize that the earlier on that you have weight issues, the more likely you are to have high blood pressure or diabetes going forward, and earlier on in life,” said Doctor Kenneth Perry.
Perry suggests evaluating why your child might be overweight in the first place.
Questions to ask:
- Is your kid mostly inactive inside on their electronic devices?
- Is there favorite food typically junk food?
- Are you as a parent promoting a healthy lifestyle?
“A lot of the times, it has a lot to do with nurture and nature,” said Doctor Perry.
Doctor Perry explains that if your family is genetically predisposed to taking on a few extra calories, then that might explain why your child is overweight.
However, if your child is in an atmosphere where it’s okay to eat poorly, then they don’t know any better to make the change.
You as a parent need to influence that.
“There’s lots of food choices, lots of decisions that sort of are permeated through the entire family,” Doctor Perry said. “Lack of activity, really bad decisions, and extra calories where they don’t need them.”
He suggests creating these habits early on.
“The more problems you have with weight, the more each thing gets compounded. So the more weight you carry, the more likely you are to have high blood pressure and diabetes which will predispose you to heart disease… Can also cause you to have sleep apnea, which can also make you have worsening high blood pressure, and other problems.”
These are problems that could impact your child throughout their entire life.
Experts suggest creating change now by encouraging your child to get outside and exercise for at least an hour a day, as well as incorporating vegetables and fruits into every meal.