Tips for Dads to Fight Childhood Obesity

Fighting Childhood ObesityA study by Duke University is doing research to discover if there is a relationship between dads being obese and having unhealthy or obese kids. This season The Biggest Loser is focusing on childhood obesity which has brought a lot of attention to the problem. I am thankful because this is one of those problems that does not need to exist at the rate it does.

Although I am writing to dads in particular I believe this applies to moms as well in their fight against childhood obesity.

The ways we live our lives affects our kids. Whether we like it or not simply by living our lives we will have a positive or negative influence on our kids. This is so true when it comes to the area of obesity. I believe that dads can do a few simple things to protect their kids from Childhood obesity and to help them live long and healthy lives.

Four Tips to Prevent Childhood Obesity in your home:

  1. Dads be healthy and exercise.  Your kids will grow up to follow your example. Dads if you are gluttons (yeah I said it) who do not lead an active lifestyle then you will have a greater chance of having childhood obesity in your home. This is such a simple principle but often times we fall into the trap of “do what I say not what I do.” Dads set a goal today to get off the couch and sweets and into a healthy active lifestyle. Lets be honest your kids health is worth it if yours is not!
  2. Dads encourage your wives to buy healthy food for the house.  My wife is so wonderful and often times buys sweets for me and the kids because she wants to see us smile. However when bad stuff is in the house you will eat it and so will your kids. This easily begins to add pounds. Then if you thank her and tell her how much you like those things she will buy even more because she loves you! So encourage your wife to pull back. Thank her but ask her to help you all out by holding back and limiting the sweets she buys.
  3. Dads rarely suggest fast food as a dinner option. I am not one of those no fast food guys. However there was a time where we were eating it too much as a family.  First I wish I could say I took the lead on this one. Amy did and cut it out of our family. I was definitely supportive and did not suggest it for dinner or lunch. Truth be told though by skipping fast food you not only save on the calories but you also help the wallet.  If your kids are eating fast foods 3 or more times a week I would really encourage you as a family to reevaluate. This can only help fight childhood obesity.
  4. Dads limit TV and video game time for you and your kids. Many young dads now are part of the “gamer generation” and enjoy video games as much as their kids. Unfortunately for you your kids learn from  your example. If you grew to love video games and didn’t watch your dads play a lot then how much more will your kids love it when they watch you? Dads you get to take the lead on this by limiting your time and their time in front of the TV and computer. Many kids when you take those things away it helps them find more healthy things to do. Also on the The Biggest Loser an expert shared how when we watch TV and play video games that we eat 25% more of a snack. When you get your kids out from in front of the TV they will also eat less.

There are many other simple things you can do to help prevent child obesity in your home. I would suggest though that dads by you having a healthy lifestyle and simply encouraging it in your family that you will have the greatest chance at keeping childhood obesity out of your home. If you do that you will set your kids up for some great success!

Your Turn: What simply ideas do you have for helping fight childhood obesity?