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Childhood Obesity and Malnutrition  ...
The Newest Forms of Child Abuse

More and more, the media has been reporting about child obesity … a real health problem for kids. What hasn’t been reported is the neglect of parents who feed their kids very little, if anything at all. Either way, it's a real problem that must be addressed.

Parents in this country must come to realize a healthy eating balance for their kids now – before the real damage is done.  

Even our First Lady, Michelle Obama is involved in addressing and putting an end to childhood obesity.

If a child weighs higher than 20 % of their ideal weight for kids their age, gender and height – they are obese.  

Childhood obesity is a growing national crisis affecting children of all ages, races, gender, cultures and economic means. It does not discriminate and is increasing at an epidemic rate.

- More than 9 million children between the ages of 6 - 19 are overweight or obese.

- Childhood obesity has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2 - 5 years and adolescents 12 - 19. It has more than tripled for children aged 6 - 11 years.

- Overweight children and adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. If one or more parent is overweight, this increases to 80%.

Child obesity increases a child's risk for serious childhood medical problems which can include:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart Disease
  • High Cholesterol
  • Pre Diabetes and Diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal Disease
  • Depression
  • Poor Self –Esteem
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Early Puberty
  • Bone Disease
  • Reproductive Problems    

Another serious risk of child obesity, is bullying. Bullies will pick on kids for any reason, but let the bully eye an obese child and they can have a field day with thier verbal, online and sometimes physical attacks.

And obese children have a higher propensity to become overweight adults which can and often does shorten the lifespan of adults.  

The other spectrum is child malnutrition. Fifteen percent of youth in the United States are considered overweight or obese. Yet hunger remains a serious problem in the United States . Not feeding children enough or not giving them the essential nutrients they need to develop and grow.

Child malnutrition can cause seizures, bone disease, reproductive problems, depression, poor self-esteem and worse -- death.  

Almost 14 million children in the United States are hungry. Many families can’t afford to buy healthy and nutritious food and scrape by with enough to avoid actual hunger. Some families are so neglectful that they feed their children little if anything at all.

Whether it’s child obesity or malnutrition, feeding America ’s children has become a major issue and one that has fast become neglect against children.

Parents should create a healthy food plan for their children and families.

- A well balanced diet should be incorporated from each of the four food groups.
- All children should take a multi-vitamin.
- Daily exercise is critical. Shut off the TV and take a walk with your kids.
- Teach your children ‘moderation.
- Do not deprive children of their favorite desserts or snacks. Instead, offer them   smaller portions and healthier snack choices such as ‘low-fat”, baked instead of   fried, natural peanut butter, natural fruit spreads instead of jelly, etc.
- Kid should get plenty of sleep. Being sleep deprived causes weight gain.

If you know of a parent who doesn’t feed their children …maybe they can’t afford to buy food. Invite them over for a meal. Hold a neighborhood food drive for them. If you know of a family who intentionally does not feed their children, or you even suspect the children being starved, report it to your local child protective services hotline immediately.  

Healthy nutrition takes a conscious effort for you and your children. Start your family eating properly today. Start today for their future!

 

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