Big Kids: 10 Things Parents Can Do to Fight Childhood Obesity


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Focus on Health, Not on Weight
Obesity is a growing problem among kids and teens but parents can help by making sure their kids are active and eat healthy meals.
Obesity is a growing problem among kids and teens but parents can help by making sure their kids are active and eat healthy meals.
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While not all pre-teens and teens are vulnerable to eating disorders -- believed to be caused by a cocktail of genetics, behavioral and social influences -- creating an environment where food and weight are constantly examined, evaluated and criticized, may lead to kids developing at the very least an unhealthy relationship with food, low self esteem and poor body image.

More than 10 million American women and about 1 million American men suffer from eating disorders, and the numbers grow bigger when you also add in binge-eating problems and unhealthy preoccupations with body shape and weight. And according to the CDC's 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, more than 12 percent of high schoolers have skipped eating for 24 hours or more in an effort to lose weight or to keep weight off. Instead of making food a battleground at mealtimes, offer healthy food choices, let kids decide when they are hungry and full, and maybe most importantly, model your own healthy relationship with food and exercise.

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