Can parents encourage childhood obesity among their kids? It’s possible through genetics and the environment a parent creates.
Have you heard the saying, “I want to be the person that I hope my kid(s) grow up to be?” I translate that as, “I hope my kids don’t inherit my own shortcomings and turn out to be better than I am.” Let’s apply that concept to our health. For example, would a smoker encourage their child to take up smoking? I would hope not. Additionally, would an overweight parent want their children to be obese? Probably not. So, let’s look at how poor health habits trickle down from parent to child.
Obesity from parent to child
According to Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, a child has a 50% chance of experiencing childhood obesity if one of his or her parents is obese. That child has an 80% chance of being obese if both parents are obese. Genetics and environmental issues contribute to this relationship.
We can’t do much to improve genetic issues, but we can alter environmental issues. An obese parent who makes poor nutrition choices for themselves provides the same foods to their children. A parent who cannot physically accommodate their child’s busy extracurricular schedule might deny those activities. As a result, children may receive poor nutrition and lead a more sedentary lifestyle and increased risk of childhood obesity.
Making healthy changes
A parent who refocuses their health on achieving a healthy weight could send positive ripple effects through future generations. Obese parents shouldn’t be discouraged from making these changes. Help is available to those who are ready to improve themselves personally making them better role models for their children.
Weight loss options
At Heartland Weight Loss Clinic, we offer medically guided weight loss programs featuring appetite suppressants, vitamin supplements and realistic levels of exercise. You can use these programs on their own or pair them with weight loss surgery. My team and I are ready to identify the obstacles that have kept you from losing weight in the past and get you over those hurdles to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Legrand, Owner & Surgeon
Heartland Weight Loss Clinic