Overweight… A good example from parents is the best form of teaching
A key factor to take into account when talking about overweight and obesity in children and adolescents, it is the family group, especially the role parents play. Parents need to be the main element, not only to encourage their children to follow a healthier life style but also as a role model for their children.
It’s hard to imagine kids with a healthy lifestyle, if their parents consume foods which are high in fat and carbohydrates and have a sedentary lifestyle. Instead, parents who are always eager to eat healthy meals and invite their children to go for walks, bike rides or just do gymnastics or any other physical activity inside the house, will be teaching them the importance of having a healthier lifestyle.
If you eat out of home, make sure to avoid fast foods at all cost, whose menus are full of foods that are high in hydrogenated or trans fats and dubious processed ingredients, which are some of the main responsible factors for the current childhood excess weight, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes epidemic that are currently plaguing humanity.
Parents who are aware of maintaining a good balance between the calories intake and the energy spent, caring for their body weight, will be a valuable incentive and a good example for their children.
Keep in mind that excess weight and obesity in children, whose incidence is growing very rapidly, are primarily responsible for the Type 2 Diabetes epidemic, in children and adolescents. Excess fat cells (adipocytes) in adipose tissue, especially around the waist tends to lead to Insulin Resistance among other serious health problems. Insulin resistance is a condition where there’s a certain degree of cell sensitivity loss to insulin signals, preventing glucose from entering the cells to be used as fuel. This in turn makes blood glucose (glycemia) rise, as the cells become more insulin resistant or glucose intolerant. If we don’t take the necessary measures on time, the situation will worsen.
In addition to this, excess adipocytes (fat cells) may damage the smooth functioning of the endothelial tissue, which is the layer that lines all of the body’s arteries. This damage decreases the amount of nitric oxide that make the arteries flexible, smooth and toned, becoming increasingly rigid, hard and sticky, inducing the attachment of bad cholesterol (LDL) molecules. These molecules will cause the gradually formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which are characteristic of a serious condition called Atherosclerosis that in turn will cause several cardiovascular problems.
The good news is that none of this has to happen if parents work continuously to make all the necessary lifestyle changes their children need, promoting healthy eating, increasing physical activity or exercise and promoting the importance of maintaining an ideal weight at all times, not only through teaching, but also encouraging them to follow by example. That way, both children and parents, can avoid all health problems caused by Excess weight or Obesity.