The Article:

How Do We Reduce Child Obesity? Put Away the Video Games and Get Outside!


By:  Kelly  O'Donnell  Abe's Enthusiast  September 11th, 2013

You know the scene: a gaggle of kids at a family party who could make forts, play board games or put on a play in the backyard, but instead zone out on their smart phones or PS3 inside a dark room. Or picture the eerie quiet on a summer day when children should line the parks and yards, but instead they sit empty. Where have all the kids gone?

There's an obvious shift in our culture and it's hurting our kids. Outdoor activity in children has decreased and the childhood obesity rates, unsurprisingly, have increased. In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Children who are overweight or obese as preschoolers are five times as likely as normal-weight children to be overweight or obese as adults. It's a serious problem for parents, as they try to keep kids active, eating right and at a healthy weight.

Fortunately, there are a few steps parents can take to keep their youngsters lean, strong and energetic.

4 Ways to Help End Child Obesity

Eat Healthier Snacks
Swap out favorite high calorie snacks with lower-calorie, healthier versions. For instance, forget the plastic-like fruit roll-ups and try Stretch Island Fruit Leather, the all-natural version that actually looks and tastes like fruit. Or convince kids to try Quinn’s Microwave Popcorn, which is stripped of the chemical-laden susceptor found in traditional bagged popcorn. They might even like it better.

Teach Young Dogs New Tricks
Teach kids games you played when you were young or introduce them to new ones they are unfamiliar with. Kids may be more likely to try a novel game rather than another round of tag, so try the Kickin' Putt, an old-fashioned outdoor game combining the fun of soccer, kickball, flying discs and golf. Ages three and up can all play and creative kids can invent their own version or set up a neighborhood tournament. 

Get Moving Outside
If they just won’t give up their devices at least take them outside! Speakers suitable for outdoor use, like Rock-Out Speaker, let kids move the dance party to where there's lots more space for moving and grooving.

Lead By Example
Kids often see parents and other adults as their main influencers. If they see you always eating fatty or sugary foods while vegging out in front of the TV and never exercising, they're going to do the same. Be the best example for your kids and show them living a healthy lifestyle is the way to go.

Keeping kids active and healthy is no simple task when the alternatives (electronic devices and junk food) are so prevalent and easy. A few simple changes might have your kids looking and feeling better, which is good for everyone. 

 

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Kelly O'Donnell

Abe's Enthusiast

Kelly O'Donnell Kelly O’Donnell is a full-time mom to two girls and part-time marketing and communications maven from Michigan, where she consults to professional service firms and private equity businesses.

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