KIDS and Eating Disorders
By Heleen Woest
Obesity is one of many eating disorders that threaten our children today
What can be done to prevent and cure childhood obesity?
Treating Childhood Obesity is mainly accomplished through a combination of Physical Activity, Diet Modifications, and Behavioral Changes.
The goal of this treatment is not necessarily direct weight reduction but rather slowing down weight gain during overall childhood development until an ideal weight is achieved.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that employing merely one of these three methods is insufficient by itself while the strategic use of all three is most effective in sustained weight loss and health.
Helpful physical activity can take the form of formal exercise or simply participation in sports. Either serves as useful treatment for obese children because the activity burns fat through the increased expenditure of energy.
Please click here to see how you can help your Child get active.
A parent may not even notice a significant external change in the child’s body weight or appearance after only a month of daily activity because the daily change is so gradual. That, however, should not become a source of concern as the consistent results of the trimming down process will certainly take place over time.
Internally, though, a medical examination of the blood lipid profile (fat cells floating in the blood) and blood pressure before and after a child’s initiation of an exercise program will make more obvious the benefits of physical exertion.
However, it is not necessary to have your child take this test if you don’t want to, but simply knowing that changes do occur, in spite of what you see, makes it worthwhile to keep up the exercises.
Concerning diet modification for obese children, successful results beyond the short term are not actually achieved through dieting or fasting. Instead, a lifestyle change in eating patterns is required.
- One approach to shifting your children’s eating habits is to replace high fat, high sugar, and generally high caloric content with more nutritious – and tasty – alternatives.
- Provide complex carbohydrates such as rice, bread, pasta, and cereal rather than simple sugars found in candies, cakes and other addictive sweets. And offer enough balanced proportions and portions of each type of food to satisfy hunger cravings.
- Additionally, reduce the actual number of meals and snacks your children eat on a daily basis. Three balanced meals in a day are sufficient, and snacks in between – though not necessary – can serve as healthy, though limited, supplements.
- Train your children to eat only when hungry rather than out of habit when they are bored or simply inactive. During a main meal, allow a few minutes to pass before offering your child a second serving to help him or her determine whether there is truly a further need to satisfy hunger.Somehow we get so focused on how all of this influences our child’s physical appearance and social life, that we forget about the very vital health risks involved with being overweight.
Have a look at this article about Childhood Diabetes, that can be brought on by excess weight.
Finally, behavioral changes in the treatment of obese children requires parental involvement. This conclusion is routinely supported by research, emphasizing that father and mother participating in some of the child’s activities is critical for the realization of weight reduction and formation of healthy lifestyle habits.
Rather than committing your most precious family time mesmerized in front of the TV, parents can daily engage their children in fun activities that get each person’s muscles moving. Everyone benefits, and the richness developed in family relationships and interactions doesn’t hurt as a side bonus.
Variety, enjoyment, and parents serving as role models for their children are all keys to success.
However, this is very difficult if you struggle with Eating Disorders, such as compulsive overeating or binge eating, yourself. Children learn primarily by the example we set and not so much the things we say. So start taking care of yourself and your own health, so that your kids would know how to treat their own bodies and how to treat food. I am a parent myself who struggled in this area, and I know how hard it can be and how guilty I felt about not setting the right example.
This is why I wrote an Unique 12 Week Online Course for other parents like me, especially moms who know they need to change things, but have no idea where to start and don’t have time to go somewhere either. You can first sign up for a trial membership (no cost) and see if this might be a good fit for you: Not just to help you find the joy of Living without the weight of an eating disorder on you back, but also equipping you with tools to hand on to your child.
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You can get help for yourself or a loved one through my 12 Week Online Study Course. I’ve compiled this course from my own experience with food struggles, insight and understanding I’ve gained through counseling ladies in my support groups, Biblical principals, as well as material I’ve gathered by well-known Christian authors, counselors, and doctors. This study is jam-packed with information, practical guide lines and honest testimonies.
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