With the increasing rate of childhood and adolescent obesity, it has become a serious and urgent health issue. There are many causes of childhood obesity; some of them are adjustable while others are not. Adjustable causes of obesity include physical activity, sedentary behavior, and eating habits. The non-modifiable cause of obesity is genetics. Children of obese and overweight parents are at a greater risk to become obese.
The good news is that there is something that you can do as a parent to prevent your child from becoming obese. Most kids don’t need to be on diets, but you can teach them the difference between Go, Slow, and Whoa foods:
Go foods are the healthiest and can be eaten anytime. Examples of Go foods include: fresh fruits and vegetables; whole-grain breads and cereals; low-fat dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and milk; lean meats and fish that are grilled, broiled, or steamed; and beverages such as water, skim milk, and diet soda.
Slow foods are foods that should only be eaten sometimes. They are not necessarily off limits, but they should be eaten in moderation, only a few days a week. Slow foods include: vegetables cooked with added salt or fat; 100% fruit juices; white bread and pasta; French toast, waffles, and pancakes; 2% milk and processed cheese spreads; broiled hamburgers, chicken with skin, ham, and low-fat hotdogs; peanut butter and nuts; and low fat ice cream.
Whoa foods are the least healthy and most likely to cause weight problems. They should be eaten very sparingly. Whoa foods include French fries, hash browns, fruits canned in heavy syrup, doughnuts, muffins, sweetened cereals, whole milk and cheese, fried chicken and hamburgers, bacon, hotdogs, cookies and cakes, potato chips, candy, and regular soda.
Additional Information/Follow Up
You can also prevent childhood obesity by encouraging your kids to stay active. Crozer-Keystone Health System offers camps to keep your children busy and active during the summer at the Healthplex® Sports Club in Springfield.
Learn how you can help your child maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Find information on Crozer-Keystone’s programs for children who are obese.