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Ask The Doctors

Family Eating Habits

Family Eating Habits


Do I have the ability to influence my child’s tendency toward being overweight? Is there anything I can do to keep it from happening?

I am not an expert on nutrition, but I do understand the significance of a well-nourished and healthy body in helping people look, feel and perform better. Personally, I tend to think that balance is the key to healthful living.

To answer your question more specifically with up to date statistics, I turned to the National Institutes of Health. Their current research on parents and their influence on children’s eating habits indicated that your role is a vital one. Parents, who are not actively involved in creating good eating habits for their children, are much more likely to see their children have a weight problem.

It is important most of all, to discourage sedentary lifestyles for your children. Engage your kids in creative and aerobic activities such as board games and outside sports. Studies show that any activity is more beneficial (in regard to their health) for children than video games or television; it didn’t necessarily have to be physical in nature. Getting involved in school clubs was even better for children in comparison, with regard to its effect on their tendency toward obesity.

It is important for parents to keep a close eye on what their kids eat as well, and even more important to make sure they eat. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It gets your metabolism started and keeps you from binge eating. Just as important as watching your children, is setting a good example yourself. Research also shows that children are likely to model their eating behavior after their parents. If you are teaching good eating habits, but not practicing them, your kids may pick up on your actions rather
than your words.

So be mindful of yourself and your children when it comes to eating and physical habits. Make choices that will benefit you and yours for a lifetime.

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