indian obesity
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What should parents do?

         Start by making your lifestyle healthy

Children learn from their parents. When parents pursue physically active lifestyles, with good eating habits and controlled TV viewing, then our children will do the same. So the next time you decide to be sedentary for 8 hours on a Saturday, watching India play a one-day cricket game, think of what your child is getting out of it.

         Foster healthy eating in your child

Use fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts in your cooking. Reduce fried food and calorie-rich food. Train your children from an early age to eat vegetables, fruits etc., Set a limit on how many times you eat out in a week, especially calorie-rich foods like pizza, burgers, chinese food, icecream etc.,

To educate your children, adopt a terminology from Sesame Street (Thanks Elmo!) - "Anytime foods" (healthy) and "Sometime foods" (Consumed occasionally). By classifying every food between these two easily understandable categories, you can teach your children a simple way of distinguishing between foods.

         Control TV time and computer time

Set clear guidelines on TV time and computer time. Ensure they are enforced. If you do this consistently, your children will know that you mean business. Lead by example. Restrict TV viewing time for children to 2 hours or less per day.

         Get children out of the couch

Get your child out of the couch/sofa/bed. Take them out to the beach, or a park or for a walk. Try to walk for small errands near your home and take your child with you. Get them involved in sports and games and encourage them at it. Experts recommend that children should have at least 1 hour of physical activity virtually every day5

Give your children chores around the house. Get them involved in your activities and give them the responsibility to do some small things. Keep changing this, so they feel that it is new and the stay motivated. 

Above all, stay involved with your child and his or her activities. Play with them, eat with them, and teach them. An involved parent who fosters healthy habits, bestows the invaluable gift of healthy living on their children.



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