What Kind of Role Models Are We When It Comes to Preventing Childhood Obesity?


The effects of obesity on our culture are well-known to be disastrous. The alarming rise in childhood obesity is much more concerning. Twenty-five percent of boys and thirty-three percent of girls in the United Kingdom between the ages of two and nineteen are overweight or obese, according to the results of the most recent large-scale survey in the country, and there is no indication that this trend is decreasing.

The rate of overweight and obesity among both adults and children in the United States has risen dramatically since the 1970s. The prevalence of obesity among individuals aged 20-74 grew from 15.0% (in the 1976-1980 survey) to 32.9% (in the 2003-2004 study), according to data from two NHANES surveys.

Increases in childhood and adolescent overweight are also found in the two surveys. The percentage of overweight children aged 2-5 rose from 5% to 13.9 %, the percentage of overweight children aged 6-11 rose from 6.5 % to 18.8 %, and the rate of overweight children aged 12-19 increased from 5% to 17.4 %.

Health issues related to obesity currently cost the United Kingdom roughly £2 billion per year and reduce life expectancy by nine years. In 1995, obesity had a direct annual cost of $100 billion to the United States economy. Some medical professionals even predict that parents will outlive their children in the not-too-distant future.
Children need to develop a positive perspective on food and eating to flourish as they age. They also require guidance on how to form healthy attitudes and routines around diet and physical activity. This is impossible if the people being looked up to as role models (parents, grandparents, teachers, etc.) exhibit harmful and unsuitable behaviors and attitudes.

A preoccupation with body shape and size has permeated every aspect of our society. How we transmit this fixation to the next generation is sometimes invisible to us.

A child needs more than just a healthy diet and regular exercise to develop normally; they also need positive attitudes toward food and their bodies. They need solid care and structure (limits, guidelines, etc.). They need to learn healthy and helpful coping mechanisms for dealing with life’s ups and downs to feel good about themselves and be happy.

So, what sorts of messages and behaviors might be contributing to the epidemic of childhood and adult obesity?

There are no neutral foods. The opposite is true. When consumed in moderation, every food group can be beneficial. Restricting your diet because of these negative thoughts will only lead to binge eating, emotional eating, guilt, and humiliation.

Our kids learn that comfort food is the best option when feeling down. It prevents them from discovering healthy ways to deal with eating and rewarding themselves for good behavior.

Because of this, kids never learn to trust their bodies’ natural cues for when they’re full. As they develop, they have no idea when they have had enough to eat.

The lifelong damage to their sense of worth stems from repeated hearings of these damaging signals. This, in turn, can lead many people, especially in areas where there are…

Food is another area in which children benefit from having a routine. Too much or too little restriction can cause toddlers to overeat.

This can cause the child to either overeat or undereat in an attempt to attract attention incorrectly. All youngsters have an innate drive to be the center of attention. If they can’t positively get your attention, they’ll resort to negative attention-getting tactics.
If a youngster feels completely free to make their own choices about eating, they may rebel against their parents. As a result, people eat to repress the emotions they feel trapped in expressing openly.

Of course, all parents love their kids and want what’s best for them. We need to be truthful with ourselves if we want to give that to them and prevent childhood obesity simultaneously. The question, “What kind of role model am I?” is one we must all ask ourselves.

Our examples may fall short of expectations at times. Perhaps this is due to our inability to develop particular abilities throughout our formative years fully. However, our perspective on food, activity, and our bodies may have shifted after years of dieting.

Fortunately, this is something that can be altered. We can re-parent ourselves as we raise our kids, or we can do the work on our own. When we re-parent, we examine our attitudes, assumptions, and behavior to align with what we know to be healthy and effective ways of raising children.

We owe it to future generations not to indoctrinate them with the dieter’s worldview and behaviors. After all, you know they aren’t a long-term solution to your family’s weight problem if they haven’t helped you.

To put it simply, no. Only by developing a positive perspective on food, oneself, and one’s body can we help our children reach and maintain their natural weights as adults.

Lack of parental care and affection A child may feel unloved and unlovable. A child may turn to food to fill the emotional gap that this causes.

Lack of healthy expression of thoughts, opinions, and emotions results from a parent being overly controlling.

Neither parent pays attention to their child; when they do, it’s always critical, like at mealtimes.

There are no reasonable restrictions or limits placed on food that are neither unreasonably stringent nor unclear.

Making fun of a kid’s appearance or size or contrasting them with “typical” kids.

Being too concerned with what and how much a youngster eats to the point of obsession.

The practice of using food as a consolation prize or incentive

Healthy food and exercise are, rightly so, the cornerstones of so much guidance. However, as parents and grandparents, we must also consider our role in potentially shaping the next generation into overweight adults and children.

Chrissie Webber has written books and works as a weight loss instructor. The 95%-97% of dieters still looking for the weight they were born to be can find support, encouragement, and re-parenting through her website []. Her website [] and blog [] provide motivational ‘Keys’ that may be used by children, parents, and adults to learn how to live free of shame, guilt, and self-loathing. Join an online ‘Conscious Eating’ community to acquire or refresh one’s knowledge of this practice, which teaches its adherents how to eat healthily while respecting the planet’s natural resources.

Read also: How to Read Through the Many Different Diet Plans and Figure Out Which One Is Right for You.