Have your children gained weight will all this time at home? It may seem like a few extra pounds are harmless, but experts say this is a concern that will be much easier to address now instead of later.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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With schools and parks closed for months, children have found themselves on house lockdown. A study by fitness group Total Shape finds that since march of 2020, some east coast kids have gained an average of about 10 pounds in the United States. New Jersey's at the top of the list at 10.2 pounds, followed by Massachusetts at 9.8 and New York at 9.6 pounds.
Dr. Leigh Ettinger, a pediatrician with Hackensack Meridian Children's Health, told Chasing News childhood obesity was a concern before the pandemic. "We're seeing people as young as the elementary school already developing high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and dyslipidemia from obesity," he stresses.
According to the expert, these conditions cause health problems, and it concerns that young kids are developing these problems.
Five thousand east cost parents were interviewed for the survey, which found that the average child had gained 7.2 pounds since March of 2020, and 15% had gained more than 10. More than half said their kids weren't getting enough exercise because they are not going to school.
21% said they didn't have the right outdoor space to be active. But not all parents are facing that problem. For some families, warmer weather makes it easier to get outside and exercise.
Dr. Ettinger says all's not lost if you can't exercise, "I encourage the families that I am working with to eat foods that are high in fiber and water."
He also assures that even a walk outside with your kids can do wonders for your health and boost your mood.
Kids are not getting as much activity as they usually would have because they're not playing sports, and instead, they are snacking too much at home. Replacing children's usual activities has been a struggle since parents find it hard to be creative trying to figure out how they can help their kids be more productive.
Some families are also struggling to put healthy meals on the table because they're juggling extra responsibilities or they've lost income or employment.
Here are some tips from the experts regarding emotional eating also for the parents during the pandemic:
-Don't be ashamed.
-Focus on intuitive eating, not dieting.
-Don't work in the kitchen.
-Don't eat in bed.
-Focus on easy but nutritious meals.
Obesity raises children's risk of type 2 diabetes and liver inflammation. There's also concern about the mental impact.
"The best thing I can tell you to do is walk with your kids. Children need to be motivated, and it's hard to do that when you tell them to go outside and run around," points out the pediatrician.
Dr. Ettinger suggests starting with a half-hour walk every day and building up from there. The weight gain is because kids are now sitting at home most of the time and not getting highly nutritious meals. Adopting healthy routines with the kids and taking time to take care of their physical, emotional, and mental health should be priorities for parents.