The major factors experts say contribute to childhood obesity

2 Your Health

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – If your child is considered overweight or obese, it’s important to know the contributing factors to your child’s weight gain. Cathy Reinhart is a Certified Diabetes Educator at Trident Medical Center. She explains the many reasons why your kid might be overweight.

“Everyone’s snacking all the time,” Reinhart said. “Marketing has a big influence on that as well. So what are kids doing in their off time? They’re watching TV and we see ads for Doritos. We see ads for Cheetos, we see ads for sweet sugary cereals.”

She said these foods should be more of a reward given every once in a while.

Reinhart mentions peer-pressure from kids at school also plays a huge role in what we’re buying as parents for our kids.

“They’re seeing kids come to school with donuts and Cheetos and what have you, but they’re given carrot sticks and celery,” Reinhart said.

Reinhart argued there are also lots more activities today that require less movement.

“With all of the electronics available and increase in screen time whether its video games or computers or just playing on their phone, we’re seeing less physical activity,” said Reinhart.

She mentioned that as parents’ schedules get busier, it’s easier to turn to convenience foods. However, those foods are typically higher in calories and lower in nutrients.

“Schedules are tight, there’s a lot of after school activities as well so it’s more convenient to drive through Chick-Fil-A, or Burger King, or McDonald’s or what have you,” said Reinhart.

But there are alternatives.

“Sometimes a healthier option might be to run to the grocery store and get a rotisserie chicken,” said Reinhart.

Experts suggest meal prepping can reduce time spent in the fast-food line. They also say to teach your kids to be role models at school by having them introduce healthier foods to their classmates to eliminate peer-pressure, as well as limiting activity indoors spent on electronic devices.

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