A growing number of children in the United States are obese. How can parents keep their kids from becoming obese without triggering an eating disorder, particularly in young girls?
Walk the talk. Without question, the best way to prevent or treat obesity in children is for parents to set the example themselves—eating healthfully and increasing physical activity. Parents must focus on healthful behaviors, not weight or looks. Teach the 80/20 concept: Make healthful choices 80 percent of the time and treat yourself 20 percent of the time. While caloric reduction is mandatory, deprivation and rigid restrictions of food do not work as a healthful long-term strategy for children.
Here are some additional recommendations to prevent obesity and inactivity in children:
If the whole family incorporates subtle evolutionary—not revolutionary—changes, everyone will benefit from a healthful environment at home.
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