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Obesity in children has doubled for children between the ages of two and five since the 1970s. Alarming is an understatement; this is traumatic. Toddlers should not be overweight and according to a recent article, nearly half of America’s children will be obese by the end of the decade. What could be the cause: accessibility to junk food and not enough exercise? However, it is not just America having this problem; every country in the world has to deal with this epidemic.

If a child has two obese parents, chances are they will be obese due to heredity. Children watch and learn a lot from their parents. If the parents do not eat balanced diets and/or get any exercise, the child may pick up those habits. We as parents need to set good eating and exercising examples for our children, so they understand the importance of doing the right things for your body.

In today’s society, life has become much easier and, as a result, lazier. With TV, computers and video games, kids do not spend as much time outside. Families do not spend that much time at the dinner table together; the faster dinner gets on the table, the better. Home cooked family meals are quickly disappearing.

Another sobering fact about an obese child is all the health problems they will experience at a young age. Type II diabetes, liver diseases, heart disease, high blood pressure, and many more are supposed to be found in adults, not children. However, there are more cases of these health problems showing up in children.

Parents need to pay attention to what their children are eating, not only at home but also when they are away. We need to instill good eating habits early and set examples ourselves. Don’t buy foods with high-fat content, sugar and artificial preservatives. It is better to make cookies than to buy them from the store. Take time to make dinner, but don’t try to do it every night. Order out every once in a while.

We can change the future. Let’s help our children live long, healthy lives.

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