Join the Fight Against Childhood Obesity
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. At Goldsmith Podiatry, we know that obesity in children (and adults) both exacerbates and increases the risk of several foot problems. There are other consequences as well:
Obesity increases the risk for other chronic diseases and health issues such as bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma,and sleep apnea.
Overweight children are teased and bullied more often thanaverage weight children. This can lead to isolation, depression and low self-esteem.
Obese children are more likely to become obese adults which can lead to a lifetime of physical and mental health problems.
Make a Change
Obesity doesn’t happen overnight. Healthy habits that will enable your child to lose weight, if necessary, or maintain an appropriate weight take time and repetition to develop. Don’t try to make big changes all at once. Start small and make changes gradually. Below are some ways to get your whole family on a path to a healthier lifestyle:
Reduce or eliminate drinks that are high in sugar such as sodas, sports drinks, and fruit juices. Get everyone in the family their own water bottle and encourage them to keep it filled and drink plenty all through the day.
Increase physical activity. Children should have at least 60 minutes of exercise and activity every day. If your child is shying away from sports or other physical pursuits, look for cues that there may be a foot or ankle problem. Is your child limping or walking on tip-toes? Do they claim that their legs are “tired?” If so, make an appointment at our New York City office and let our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith or Dr. Rosanna Troia examine his or her feet.
Make good food choices fun. Let your children choose new vegetables and fruits to try. Explore healthy ways of preparing foods and cook together. Make time to sit down together to eat dinner as often as possible. This quality family time also encourages slower eating which in turn reduces the amount you eat.
Set firm limits on screen usage and bedtimes. Decreasing the amount of time spent on the phone, computer or watching television will encourage more physical pursuits. Lack of sleep has been associated with obesity and screen time can keep kids up way later than they should be.
If you have questions about other ways to be proactive about your child’s podiatric health, don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 212-877-1002. You can also schedule an appointment with Dr. Goldsmith and Dr. Troia online.