These four simple steps can banish childhood obesity forever

Foods to curb childhood obesity, Health Network News

Follow the 5-2-1-0 guide to ensure your child’s best health

SUMMARY: Childhood obesity can lead to diseases like heart disease & diabetes. The 5-2-1-0 rule is a simple way to prevent or reverse childhood obesity in your family.

Childhood obesity leads to premature onset of life-threatening illnesses including heart disease and diabetes. According to the Childhood Obesity Foundation, 42 million infants and young children were overweight or obese, worldwide in 2013 and they predict that 70 million young children will be overweight or obese by 2025. Childhood obesity leads to premature onset of life-threatening illnesses including heart disease and diabetes.

But there is a simple rule you can use to prevent or reverse childhood obesity in your family. Just remember the rule 5-2-1-0

What is the 5-2-1-0 rule?

5-2-1-0 is a lifestyle guide to help you let you, as a parent, the components of healthy living that can impact your kids health the most. Here’s how it works.

5 or more vegetables or fruits a day

Children who eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day have decreased rates of heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

Try the following to get more fruits and veg into your child’s diet:

  • Include fruits and vegetables at every meal
  • Serve veggies first at meals (such as a salad or a plate of raw carrots and celery) before your child gets full on the other food
  • Serve fruits or vegetables as a snack

No more than 2 hours of screen time per day

Screen time includes computer, video games, and TV. Studies show that kids who indulge in more than two hours of screen time per day are twice as likely to be obese as children who watch less than an hour a day.

These methods can help you reduce your child’s screen time:

  • Do not let children under two years of age watch television
  • Do not allow a television in your child’s room (at any age)
  • Use a timer for screen time to reduce arguments of how much time has elapsed.

1 hour of physical activity (or more) per day

Studies show that physical activity is important for both physical and mental health.

Ways you can encourage your child to be more active include:

  • Ensure that your child has access to fun activities
  • Be active as a family (biking, skating, hiking, etc.)
  • Involve children in active household chores such as dog walking, car washing, or lawn mowing.
  • Make sure your child has time and a place for physical activities.

0 sugary drinks

Sugary drinks are a health nightmare – all extra calories from soda are stored in the body as fat. Studies show that children who drink one can of soda a day increase their risk of obesity by a whopping 60 percent! In addition, sugary drinks can also cause tooth decay and digestive problems.

Removing soda from your child’s diet can be a challenge, but here are ideas to help you succeed:

  • Do not keep soda in the house.
  • Provide water and plain, unflavored milk to drink.
  • Limit fruit juice to one small glass per day as it is a concentrated source of fruit sugars. (Provide fresh fruit for your child instead.)
  • Pack water in your child’s lunch.

5-2-1-0 are good rules for the entire family, plus lifestyle changes are easier for your children when the whole family is involved. Remember, parents and adults are role models for kids.

Source: The Childhood Obesity Foundation of Canada.

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