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Childhood Obesity: The Scary Truth

Childhood Obesity: The Scary Truth

“Childhood obesity may have many causes, including an inactive lifestyle, eating habits and genetics,” shares North Oaks Family Medicine Physician Hugo Valdes, MD. “Overweight children, who do not lose the weight as they age, are at a greater risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.”

So what should parents do to help their kids during the upcoming holiday season?

Start with these tips to enjoy a healthier and happier Halloween:

  • Prepare a nutritious dinner for your child before trick-or-treating. Children may be less likely to overindulge on candy with a full stomach.
  • Forbid your child to eat treats until they return home so that a responsible adult can examine all items first. Any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items should be discarded.
  • To help your kids resist the temptation to eat candy before it is checked, send them out with healthy snacks. Small bags of fruit or nuts are ideal.
  • Pass out non-edible goodies. Small trinkets, like pencils or stickers, often cost the same as candy.
  • Set a daily treat limit and a cut-off date. Ration the treats according to this plan, and put away the candy after the cut-off date. Take it out again on special occasions. Follow this rule yourself to set an example for your children!
  • Consider that some children may have peanut allergies in your selection of snacks for parties and other events.
  • Use this time to schedule a check-up with your child’s dentist to detect cavities or other oral health issues.

To learn more about childhood obesity detection and prevention, speak with your child’s health care provider or call: North Oaks Family Medicine at (985) 230-5800 or (985) 230-1850; North Oaks Primary Care at (985) 878-4174 in Independence or (225) 686-4930 in Livingston.