The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Health & Fitness

June 17, 2013

Weighing in on childhood obesity


3. Be active

Many kids spend a lot of time in front of the television, on the computer or cellphone, or playing video games. Limit your children’s “screen time” to two hours per day. Being physically active doesn’t mean your child has to formally exercise – it should be a fun activity. Encourage your child to play outside. Join your child for a bike ride, an afternoon at the pool or a trip to the playground.

4. Support your children

It’s important that parents be patient and remain positive with their children when discussing their weight. Focus on positive goals and don’t be judgmental. Take every advantage to build your child’s self-esteem. Praise your child’s efforts, but don’t reward with food. As a parent, you should set a good example for your child and eat healthy and be physically active as well.

It’s important to note that not all children and adolescents carrying some extra pounds are obese or overweight. Some kids have larger body frames and some carry different amounts of body fat at different stages in development. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions regarding your child’s health.

Vickie Parsons is a pediatric nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator at Mayo Clinic Health System.

Parsons will give a Speaking of Health presentation on childhood obesity that is open to the public in the lower level conference center of the hospital at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato on Tuesday, June 25 at 7 p.m.

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