In most cases of sleep apnea, obesity plays a major role in the cessation of air through the airway. Unfortunately, child obesity has followed the trend of obesity in the United States and has become a major epidemic. Since these occurrences of child obesity also lead to increased instances of sleep apnea, then controlling child obesity is a major key to prevention.
The Main Cause of Childhood Obesity
While it’s comforting for parents to claim that a slow metabolism or some other circumstance is responsible for their child’s obesity, those ailments are extremely rare. The much more likely cause of their childhood obesity lies in their ratio of calories consumed versus calories burned. This simple equation is at the heart of almost all obesity cases in the world. When too many calories are taken in than can be spent in a day, it turns to fat and obesity ensues.
Helping Your Child Get Fit
With 18% of American children falling into the obese category, it’s become a major epidemic in the US. When children are severely obese, it’s the parents who are responsible. Only parents can attain the nutrition education for themselves and teach proper eating and exercise habits for their kids. If your child is obese or overweight, hopefully you can take action and reduce their weight before sleep apnea or other harmful ailments can take hold.
A Better Diet
Having children usually means that your life is busy. With this business can come decisions that seem best in the moment, but are actually ruinous to your child’s health. Fast food is a prime example of one way that we prioritize convenience and low-cost at the expense of our children’s health. Here are some other suggestions to help your kids improve their diets:
- Think of creative ways to make veggies fun for kids.
- Make sugary treats a rarity in your household.
- Establish a rule that your child must finish their healthy food first.
- Let them see you eating and enjoying healthy, fresh foods.
- Teach them how healthy foods give you more energy and make you strong.
The Habit of Exercise
The other way to control obesity in your children or self is to begin a vigorous exercise routine that burns a healthy amount of calories for your child. Doing this will ensure that they are able to burn more than they consume, and should ultimately keep their weight within a healthy standard. Try these ideas to encourage your child to burn more calories:
- Get your child involved in a sport they find fun and challenging.
- Find an activity that your child can do consistently.
- Bring your child on your own runs, sports games, and workouts.
- Set aside time to play soccer and other sports with your child.
- Encourage your child to spend time with friends who are athletic.
Treating Childhood Obesity
When you bring your child to their pediatrician for obesity, much of what they can do is educational in nature. They’re likely to provide educational materials and warn you of the problems that can occur if they continue to gain weight. Programs like 5210 Every Day present a useful guideline that parents can use to ensure their children stay healthy.
5210 Every Day Program
The 5210 Every Day program provides a valuable guideline for patients who need assistance in setting good habits for their children. Each of the digits in 5210 represent a positive reminder for your child. Here is the breakdown of 5210 and how it helps minimize obesity:
- Children should eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Recreational screen time should be kept to 2 hours or less per day.
- At least one hour per day should be spent on active physical play.
- Your child should drink zero sugary beverages on a daily basis.
Although 5210 is a basic guideline, it’s a valuable tool for pediatricians when given to parents that will use it.
Discover the Cure for Your Child’s Sleep Apnea at Alpine Dental
Sleep apnea doesn’t discriminate based on age – children can suffer its effects just the same as adults. One way to vastly improve the likelihood of avoiding the disorder is by keeping your child in shape and ensuring that they don’t become obese. With the combination of a healthy diet, consistent exercise routine, and regular trips to their dentist, you’ll stand an excellent chance of keeping your kid strong and healthy. Contact Alpine Dental to see what Dr. Klein can do for you.