New parents have enough to worry about–feeding time, changing diapers, burping, spit ups, crying, nap time, baths, changing diapers, play time (often in the middle of the night), feeding time, spit ups…all while getting almost no sleep.
Here’s something else to add to the list: obesity.
You might think it’s too early to worry about making your kid fat. They need nourishment and they’re growing rapidly. Moreover, they’re in constant motion, so exercise isn’t an issue.
You wouldn’t be alone. Recent studies have shown most preschoolers aren’t active enough. In fact, they’re pretty must sedentary 85 percent of the time. And that can be a critical factor in whether the child becomes obese. Unfortunately, most parents don;t know it. “The importance of physical activity and age-appropriate exercise is one area where we could step up educational efforts,” Janet Serwint, M.D., of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Florida, told ScienceDaily.com. “Pediatricians should discuss specific and age-appropriate activity goals during well-child visits.”
The reason this is important is that one study cited on ScienceDaily.com found that parents of healthy weight preschoolers and parents of obese preschoolers had almost an identical understanding of the risk factors for obesity. It’s just that the first group actually put what they knew into action, while the others did not.
Nearly four in ten parents in both groups knew that buying and preparing unhealthy foods was a key contributor to weight gain, and similar numbers in both groups cited the old-school charge to “clean your plate” (rather than being able to stop eating when you’re no longer hungry) as a key factor, as well.
So if parents know what they should be doing but aren’t, why not?!