In our culture of video games and Internet, fast-food and school-room vending machines, rates of obesity in children are on the rise. Perhaps this is a problem you can relate to.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently found that more than 15 percent of six- to-nine-year-olds were overweight in 1999 to 2000, compared with about 11 percent in 1998 to 1994. The study also found that increased rates of overweight and obesity have led to more and more children being diagnosed with previously grown-up, obesity-related conditions such as high cholesterol and Type II diabetes. In addition to the physical deficiencies and problems stemming from obesity, the psychological effects can often be nearly paralyzing to children.
At the end of this article, I’ll give you some general scriptures regarding obesity and gluttony, but for now, I’ll just dive right into some simple tips to help you help your child to lose weight.
There is no quick and easy way to help your child lose weight. It requires long-term modifications in lifestyle and eating habits that need to be incorporated into the family structure. But it can be done. I’m no doctor, but here are some tips I’ve read that can help:
1. Set realistic goals for your child.
Probably the worst thing you can do to your child is strap them with unreasonable goals. In fact, it may be better to help your child maintain weight rather than focus on losing it. As your child grows taller without gaining weight, she will naturally become thinner. For more overweight or obese children, a one pound a week weight loss is a good goal. The more attainable the goal, the more likely it is you child can live with these lifetime modifications.
2. Encourage exercise.
Get your child involved in regular physical exertion. This can be through walking, aerobics, or better yet, regular “normal” activities like football, baseball and other sports.
3. Choose healthy and nutritious foods.
Provide your child with lots of fruits and vegetables and encourage her to drink water. An orange not only has fewer calories than a glass of orange juice, but it is has fiber that can help your child feel more full and satisfied.
The key here is that you choose the menu. Leave it up to your child, and they will surely pick foods that are both unhealthy and larger-than-needed portions.
4. Change your family’s eating habits.
Chances are, your child isn’t the only one in need of a diet change. Get the whole family on a schedule and menu that is healthy and it will not only benefit the whole family, but will also give your child a positive peer-pressure environment for change.
5. Try behavior modification techniques.
An effective way to help your child attain weight goals is to reward them for good behavior. Of course, these rewards should be non-food items. 😉
6. Follow-up with your child’s doctor.
Don’t get fixated on regularly weighing your child at home. Instead, schedule regular visits to the pediatrician so they can help monitor their health and progress.
7. Be supportive.
Most importantly, you should give loving support to your child. Pray with and for them, encourage them, and only speak positively with them about this journey.
With some patience, encouragement and positive changes, you can help your child overcome their weight problem.
Now for those scriptures…
Scriptures on obesity and gluttony
Ex 16:20, 21, 27; Nu 11:32, 33; De 21:20, 21; Pr 23:21; 30:21, 22; Ec 10:17; Isa 22:13; Lu 12:19, 20, Amos 6:4-7; Luke 12:19,20,45,46; 21:34; Ro 13:13, 14; 1Co 15:32; Php 3:19; 1Pe 4:3; Jude 1:12