Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kids, obesity, and being a good role model

Eager to imitate.

Children are always looking up to older people. Often, they copy what they see trying to be like that person.

Easy-bake ovens and toy tools aren't played with because kids want to be chefs and construction workers. They want to be like mom, dad, sibling, cool person they saw, so on and so forth.

Where am I going with this?

Role models, and no, I'm not talking about the movie.

Modeling positive behavior is a must. How are we suppose to expect kids to be in decent shape if the adult they're around most barely eats, regularly consumes fast food, and does nothing productive with their time?

Parents who think their child is overweight might even force them to exercise and/or only eat certain foods.

That's awful.

8 hours of school, 5 days a week, and added to the mix is exercise or a diet? You just can't do it.

It's important to give them a warm loving childhood for the best development possible.

We can't fix child obesity if adult obesity is still a problem. Seth Godin wrote a post about fixing the real solution. This is a similar scenario.

Ross Enamait wonderfully explained the same topic recently as well.

Want a kid to be active? Give them a fun activity to do. Any sports, DDR, going to the park, you name it.

The rules are simple.
1) Make sure they're having fun and enjoying it.
2) Make sure it's safe.
That's all there is to it.

I'll end the post with a story.

Last spring, my Infant & Child Development professor told us one visit, she took her daughter to the pediatrician. The doctor said, "your daughter is overweight and something needs to be done."

She goes to daughter and asks her, "do you want to join dance?" She nods her face no.

My professor goes on to say, "well, since she didn't want to do that, I put her in Taekwondo. She enjoys it, she lost weight, and she got her black belt by 3rd grade."

Simple solution. On top of that, it most likely boosted her self-confidence, enhanced her social well-being, and got her a new hobby.

Not too hard, right?

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