Establishing Healthy Habits for Kids

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You likely know by now that being overweight or obese increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. In fact, AICR estimates that over 100,000 cancer cases a year are caused by carrying excess fat.

That’s a sobering statistic, and the latest numbers on childhood obesity suggest that number will keep growing. After all, children who are overweight or obese tend to grow into overweight and obese adults.

But you can help ensure a brighter, healthier future for your kids. How? By treating yourself right.

Think about it: Children model their parents’ behavior, so every time you prepare a healthy meal or make time for getting active, you’re instilling those same habits in your kids.

The Obesity Society recommends that parents keep only healthy foods in the house and choose the restaurants the family visits.

Anyone who’s unthinkingly polished off a bag of potato chips while watching their favorite program knows that eating in front of the TV encourages “passive overeating” – that’s why it’s a good idea to serve meals at the dinner table whenever you can.

Encourage kids to get and stay active any way they can. Planning family activities that revolve around walking, biking, hiking or swimming can help less active kids get their hearts pumping.

First Lady Michelle Obama has launched a nationwide campaign called Let’s Move! to help stop childhood obesity. The website’s got lots of ideas for getting kids interested in health and nutrition.

AICR has our own children’s website called the Taste Buddies, filled with games, quizzes and kid-friendly information to help kids learn that eating better and moving more can be fun.

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