What to Read Next

3 Ways to Fight Childhood Obesity

May 22, 2012

By: StacyAtZeel

Keep kids active and educated!
Keep kids active and educated!

Over the last few days, we've been chatting up a storm with several of our expert health and wellness providers to get their take on the obesity epidemic, and what we've found is horror, shame and general sadness regarding the overwhelming statistics.

What we haven't delved into at length is the fact that, while 42 percent of the American population could be considered clinically obese in the next 20 years, a large number will be of adolescent age.

"In order to avoid fulfilling the frightening obesity predictions laid out by the CDC in its most recent report, we must direct our attention towards expanding the health education available to parents and children," says certified personal trainer Steve Ettinger. The acclaimed children's book author behind Wallie Exercises, Steve knows just how important it is to instill the value of fitness and nutritional health early on.

"Kids and parents need to know from an early age not only the benefits of exercise and what foods contribute to obesity, but why and how to make the necessary changes," he says. Parents can start their children on a path of health and wellness by making these three simple changes in the home.

1. Eat real foods. You can't truly monitor the kinds of food your child is exposed to outside of the home, from friends' houses to the lunch room at school. That's why it's essential to keep real foods in the home. Stock your fridge with fresh vegetables and fruit; keep items in the cabinet with short ingredient lists; and model the kind of dietary behaviors you hope your children will adopt. Setting a good example in the home is an important step in ensuring the consumption of real foods outside of it.

2. Encourage natural play. No, not Nintendo Wii! Shuttle your kids out the door and encourage them to go play in the yard. Purchase cool equipment come spring so that that they want to spend more time running around in the fresh air, rather than slumped on the couch with a remote in hand. Another way to get your kids active: Sign them up for sports teams like Little League and soccer. Not only will they get the benefits of physical activity, but they'll also gain from the social aspect as well.

3. Educate children about the basics of nutrition and exercise from an early age. That doesn't mean you have to explain the intricacies of a calorie at their third birthday party. You can, however, educate your children about the ABC's of health and nutrition early on. Teach them that fruits and veggies are filled with vitamins that will help them grow; that milk will help make their bones strong and sturdy; and so on. To make it stick, make sure the information you preach is age-appropriate and not overly complicated.

Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

United States drivers are surprised that they never knew this. If you drive less than 50 mi/day, you better read this...

This Movie Deal Is Sure To Get Your Attention!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Check Out Extra Savings at Sears

Shop Everything from Appliances to Tools at Sears. Save on Top Brands!

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Drive part-time, full-time, or anytime with Uber!

As an Uber independent contractor you can get paid to drive your own car! We connect you with riders, and you work when you want to.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Free Workshop in Washington DC Area, Feb. 27!

This workshop introduces you to the tools to create winning trades no matter which direction stocks move! Attend the event and get a FREE silver bar!

How Much Could Drivers Actually Save By Comparing?

EverQuote's simple online tool allows drivers to identify the best rates for them. Find out how much you could be saving on auto insurance.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Find Out How SoFi Can Help Refinance Your Loans

SoFi is refinancing student loans with fixed rates as low as 3.5% APR...

Help your customers on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's customers are social, so you should be too. Read this e-book to learn six things to consider as you plan your support strategy.