Obese boy who is overweight on a pink background.
Δρ. Χαρα Παπαγεωργιου

Dr. Chara Papageorgiou

Child Obesity and 8 ways to help your children

A child is overweight or obese depending on gender, age, height and weight, based on the specific developmental curves that exist for children. Unfortunately, the percentage of overweight and obese children in our country has increased alarmingly in recent decades.


The main causes of the increase in childhood obesity are related to environmental factors, and mainly to poor nutrition, malnutrition, and reduced physical activity.


Effective treatment of childhood obesity requires radical changes in the eating habits and lifestyle of both children and parents, because children imitate them.


The parent should place more emphasis on the adoption of healthy eating habits by the child (which will be the permanent solution to the problem of obesity) and less emphasis on weight loss.


  1. Start with breakfast. Studies show that children who eat breakfast are generally better at managing their hunger during the day, have better eating habits and are less likely to become obese. Of course the quality and quantity of breakfast is very important. Offer the child healthy options such as toast with cheese and vegetables, whole grains, low sugar in combination with low-fat milk or yogurt, fruit, boiled egg, etc. Avoid savory or sweet snacks with puff pastry, croissants with chocolate cream, cereals with high sugar content, etc.


  1. Drink lots of water. Teach children from a distance late to quench their thirst with texture and use with sugary drinks. The regular approach to sugary soft drinks and fruit drinks is the time of onset of obesity in children. The main reason is the distinction of personal storage drinks in sugar and calories, did not require at the expense of satiety. Fruit juice access (discus or sugar cane) should be scheduled in 1 small glass in the application.


  1. Limit prepared food. Ready-made foods such as burgers, french fries, gyros, pizza, skewers, fried chicken, etc., tend to be high in fat, calories and salt. If you can not avoid it, explain to the child that it is good to eat a smaller portion (you can share the meal) and replace the french fries with salad or vegetables, a small potato jacket or rice.
  2. Pay attention to the quantities. Do not serve the same portions to your child as an adult and do not force them to eat all of their food if they do not want to.


  1. Eat together as often as possible. The frequency of family meals is associated with a reduced risk of obesity. As a parent, first adopt healthy eating habits. Cook healthy on the grill, steamed, boiled or in the oven, prepare easy and healthy meals for your family. Avoid fried and fatty foods with plenty of butter, mayonnaise, whole cheeses, cream and oil. Include a salad or boiled vegetables with lemon and a little olive oil in every family meal and set a good example for your children.


  1. Offer healthy snacks. Get rid of unhealthy snacks and replace them with homemade fruit salad, plain or fruit yogurt or with a little honey, whole meal rusks, dried fruit, homemade oatmeal cookies with low sugar, cottage cheese, homemade cheese, homemade cheese with reduced fat (plain or with a little cocoa) and more.


  1. Avoid extremes and deprivation diets. Offer the child small, regular, healthy meals and snacks. The goal is to learn and get used to eating right, not to become obsessed with losing weight.Avoid extremes and deprivation diets. Offer the child small, regular, healthy meals and snacks. The goal is to learn and get used to eating right, not to become obsessed with losing weight.


  1. Increase physical activity. Unfortunately, children spend countless "wasted" hours in front of the TV or computer. Encourage your children to engage in at least one sporting activity that they enjoy in their spare time such as football, basketball, tennis, dancing and more. Also, set up an afternoon walk in the park or on the beach with your children, take a ball with you to play, go cycling with them, play rackets, etc. You and your children will definitely benefit from the increased physical exercise.


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