September is national childhood obesity awareness month. It is a time that we, as a nation, bring awareness to a very big threat that our children are facing. The United States has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity and more than one-third of American children are overweight. Decades of research has proven that very little of childhood obesity is caused by genetics or medical conditions, and has more to do with unhealthy eating habits and limited physical activity. At Rebounderz of Lansdale, we take the health and wellbeing of the children in our community seriously. We would like to take the opportunity to address childhood obesity and what Rebounderz is doing to help combat the problem.
What Causes Childhood Obesity?
There are several factors that contribute to childhood obesity, most of which are preventable. When parents know the causes and the warning signs, it is easier to prevent it from happening. Being overweight as a child is a concern, not because of the vain reasons that some defensive parents may assume, but for health reasons and long-term poor habits.
Poor Eating Habits
Poor eating habits for children can have many contributing factors. Generally, child nutrition is not a part of parenting classes and many parents tend to feed their kids what they ate growing up or what they eat themselves. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not eat the recommended healthy foods daily, and children need additional nutrition to develop healthily. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a variety of fruits and vegetables, low-fat foods, and limiting salt and sugar intake, for people of all ages. Prepackaged foods and convenience foods often lack these things. School meals, while improving over the last few years, are bulk foods that tend to lack the proper nutrition that children need.
Lack of Physical Activity
In the 21st century, as the world became more digital-focused, children began playing outside less and leading more of a sedentary lifestyle. Due to funding reallocation, many schools have cut down on recess time, physical education, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, more schools are using computers as modes of teaching, so children spend considerably more time sitting in the classroom. At home, social concerns have prevented children from freely exploring outside and have limited their activities to inside the home. As dual incomes become more important, families spend less time being active together and children learn by following the examples set by their parents. Statistics show that most American families are not getting the recommended daily physical activity.
How Can We Prevent Childhood Obesity?
Preventing Childhood Obesity Starts at Home
As parents and as a community, we have a duty to help prevent childhood obesity. As parents, learning what is healthy and being cognizant of healthy eating and physical activity habits is important to set the example at home. Families should do their best to incorporate healthy foods into all meals and snacks and avoid the convenient poor-quality foods as much as possible. Make sure that children are relying on healthy fruits and vegetables as snacks and in every meal. Healthy grains and proteins should be the staple of every meal. Sugar intake should be limited — watch the drinks you provide!
Families should also stay active together; physical activity is important for every member of the family! For some ideas on how to stay active as a family, check out some of our location’s blogs. Make physical activity a priority, and keep it fun so that family members will want to participate. It is important to remember that children learn by example and are much more likely to do something if they see their parents doing it and it is a part of their normal routine.
Fighting Childhood Obesity is a Social Duty
As a community, offering opportunities for healthy, active engagements is important. Local parks and recreation centers are important contributors to the overall health and welfare of entire communities. Where children may not have the space or safety in their own neighborhoods to play outside, community locations should provide. Communities that provide walking and biking trails, parks, and recreation areas have lower rates of obesity in people of all ages. Access to unhealthy snacks — vending machines, food carts, and snack bars — should include healthy child-friendly options. Local family entertainment centers should provide active entertainment rather than all screen-focused or sedentary activities.
How Rebounderz Helps Prevent (or Treat) Childhood Obesity
At Rebounderz, we believe that physical activity should be fun and healthy! When exercising is fun, people are more likely to participate and to keep working out for longer! When you come to a Rebounderz Extreme Fun Zone location, you can count on plenty of physically active things to do. From our giant trampoline arenas to our obstacle course and laser tag centers, you and your family will get plenty of exercise while having fun. From the very small and young to kids who have grandkids, we offer activities and special events that are perfect for each age group. To get your family up and active to combat childhood obesity, contact your nearest Rebounderz location, or just stop in today!
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