It’s a fact that we’ve created the fattest generation in history! Children in America, ages two through seventeen, are gaining weight at an astounding rate. Per the Institute of Medicine in Washington DC, thirty three percent of American children are overweight. This sheds a whole new light on the term “baby fat”. The facts show that overweight children will live shorter adult lives. How did this happen? It has to do with our obsessed culture that encourages people to eat more calories and move less. Our world requires less physical energy and places high calorie foods within easy reach. It is the perfect mix of less activity and easily accessible high calorie foods. Schools have reduced the frequency of physical education classes and some have even done away with recess. Some parents concerned with the safety of their children encourage indoor activities such as video games, computer time and television rather than to play outdoors.

The big question is how can we fix this? Get involved as parents - it must start at home.

Here are some ideas:
· Review the food choices in your home and provide healthy substitutes.
· Review the drink choices in your home and change those choices by providing healthy substitutes.
· Review the type of activities that your children participate in and then encourage eating less and moving more. Be active with your children and everyone will benefit! Explore opportunities for walking, running, hiking, bicycling, swimming, canoeing or even kayaking. The opportunities are practically endless.
· Have family meals - without television.
· If there is a “clean plate club” at your house, perhaps it is not so important to eat everything on your plate anymore?
· Become an advocate in the schools and in your community for healthier living, for healthy food choices and opportunities for additional activity.
· Since prevention is the best course of action, be sure to discuss your concerns with your pediatrician. Have your children’s BMI (body mass index) checked every time you visit your pediatrician. The CDC (center for disease control has guidelines, which you may discuss with your pediatrician.
· It is very important not to make it a control issue with your children. It is impossible to monitor every choice your child makes but the steps taken at home will go along way influencing their overall choices and behavior.
· Nagging negativity does not work. Praising healthy behaviors is just as important as weight loss.
· Your children look to you for examples and for advice. Consider setting an example by being a role model and “walk the talk”.
· A wellness practitioner can assist you in making the transition to healthy food choices and substitutions to fit within your budget.
Remember that children are born with an inherent desire to have fun. Living healthy is not difficult. Be creative and have fun!

Author's Bio: 

Don C. Farrow, Jr., Ph.D. is a board certified holistic health practitioner, author, and founder of Wisdom For Wellness located in Black Mountain, NC.