Roles of Parents in Teenage Obesity

Parents play a vital role in the weight of their children; it’s really part of parental care. Understandably, obese parents tend to have obese children. Not just because of the genetic factors, but because it is more likely that these parents will pass down their poor eating and sedentary lifestyles to their children. Children are always very close to their parents and in most cases, see them as role models. They are therefore more likely to followthe habits, norms, attitudes and beliefs of their parents. If this is understandable, what about parents that aren’t obese?

The first problem or cause of obesity in children is over eating. Children love eating and eating junk foods. Any diet that deprives children of junk food is very likely to fail. And because parents condone their children’s eating habits, they become part of the cause of obesity in their children. As part of parental love and care, parents must learn to criticize children’s eating habit and teach them at an early age to eat just enough food for satisfaction. Making children eat slowly is an effective way to curb excesses in eating. Food getting into the stomach takes about 20-30minutes to stimulate the satiety center of the brain that brings the sense of fullness. Eating slowly, therefore, will help children to eat to satisfaction without overeating.

Parents should also learn to build the right eating habit in children from an early age. Eating the right type of food to avoid overweight is a key instrument in avoiding childhood obesity. Implementing a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grain and other healthy food types will allow your children to enjoy eating good food without the dangers of overweight. Cooking together and eating together as a family will make eating enjoyable enough without the need to overeat. The ease and availability of fast food restaurants is another cause for concern. Most parents award their children’s brilliant performance or a job well done with a trip to a fast food restaurant. It’s not wrong to take children out once in awhile, but it is parts of parents’ care to limit such outings to within a reasonable limit.

The sedentary lifestyles and reduced activity in most children is another cause for concern. Children spend hours on end watching TVs or playing video and computer games. The digital generation we live in today has not help matters. The number of hours spent daily in these sedentary activities pile up gradually and is a sure precursor to weight gain. Parents can create a healthy active lifestyle in their children by leading active lifestyles themselves and taking their children along. Biking, taking an evening walk together or swimming are activities that parents can do with their children. It is better for parents to encourage their children to take up some type of sports, dance, martial arts or any form of activity that will cut down sedentary living styles in their children.

Obesity is perhaps more psychologically tormenting for teenagers than for adults. They don’t have the intelligence to make all the right decisions. It is part of your parental responsibility to guide them towards a better living. Their happiness at the end will bring you the joy and satisfaction that comes with a job well done.

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