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Who’s to blame for the dramatic increase in childhood obesity these days—it has more than tripled in the past 30 years according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)? While there may be many factors at fault—more junk food and sugary drink options, increased television and computer time, lack of physical activity (both at school and at home) and larger portion sizes—it is important to set a good example to help your children maintain a healthy weight. The effects of childhood obesity have both short and long-term consequences, which is why addressing the issue before it is too late is imperative. Obese youth and teens are more likely to be obese as adults, and are thereby more susceptible to health problems commonly associated with being overweight (such as: high cholesterol, heart problems, hypertension, etc.) Goutham Rao, MD, Primary Care Physician at NorthShore, offers the following tips for parents to encourage healthy eating, an active lifestyle and a happy child:
What changes have you made to encourage a healthy lifestyle for your children?
-- If you have more questions about childhood obesity, read Dr. Rao's childhood obesity chat.