Having a unhealthy lifestyle, being inactive and the easy availability of unhealthy foods are some of the biggest reasons why childhood obesity is becoming more prevalent. It is estimated that over 15 per cent of America's teenagers are obese.

It is crucial for parents to help their children not become obese even from their teenage years so as to prevent any potential, future health complications. Obese teenagers have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular related health problems and diabetes. They also have greater chances of developing bone and joint problems. In short, there are many possible health related issues your child will face in the future if he or she were to continue being overweight.

With respect to mental health, overweight children also tend to have lower self confidence levels, due to more bullying and teasing in schools. Due to the effects of obesity on both the physical and emotional aspect of your child, you should do your best to keep your child from becoming overweight, or to get him or her back to a healthy weight as soon as possible. This can be achieved by implementing some or all of the following tips.

The foods and meals which parents choose to serve to their children will definitely have a great influence on their current and future food preferences. If you constantly serve oily or fried foods with high fat and high calorie content, there is a higher chance that your children will constantly ask for such foods. What you can do is to prepare meals which contain more lean meats, vegetables and fruits! Instead of letting them snack on potato chips, get them to take more fresh fruits or even low-fat pretzels! Dietary habits start young, therefore you should start inculcating into your children a healthy lifestyle.

You should also encourage your children to exercise and pick up an active lifestyle. Exercising is one of the most effective ways to get into a healthy weight. It is a good idea if you can also participate in such activities with your children. Not only will it keep them at a healthy weight, but it can also serve as a great family bonding time! Instead of letting children constantly playing video games or watching television programs, encourage them to get out there and pick up a sport or two!

Finally, all the above tips will not work if you do not set a good example. Therefore if you have not already done so, then you should also start your active and healthy lifestyle!

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