A Teacher’s Guide to Childhood Obesity Prevention in School
- Updated on 19 Aug 2021
- Health and Nutrition
- 4 mins read
Childhood obesity is an international epidemic. It’s not just an issue in India – it’s everywhere. The problem starts early, with children as young as two years old being obese or overweight. Parents are always looking for ways to keep their children healthy and active so that they don’t end up suffering from the same health problems too many of us do today. This blog post provides insight into how schools can be more involved in preventing childhood obesity by implementing programs to educate kids about good nutrition, physical activity, and lifelong habits that will help them stay healthy throughout their lives. It also covers what parents should know before sending their child to school, how schools can make changes to prevent obesity among students, and what parents can do to help prevent obesity in their children.
Parents should be aware of the healthy diet options available at school and talk to their children about a nutritious diet, healthy snacks, and limiting screen time (staring at the TV or playing video games for extended periods). This is important because if your child develops healthy habits early on, they will be more likely to stay healthy all their life!
7 Tips for Teachers to Stop and Control Childhood Obesity
1. Teach Healthy Lifestyle Habits
This is very crucial to healthy students. The habits that a teacher instils in their students will stick with them for all the years to come!
Teachers should set healthy diet examples both in the classroom and outside of it. They should model healthy eating habits, including eating healthy portions, not overeating sugar or fat, and drinking plenty of water instead of sugary drinks.
2. Make Healthy Food More Available
School should have a healthy diet (fruit, vegetables, and healthy snacks) readily available for the children to grab healthy snacks instead of unhealthy snacks normally eaten during break time or lunchtime.
The school environment was a predictor of both healthy and unhealthy eating habits. Schools should also make a healthy diet more available by keeping healthy foods for kids and in the cafeteria and classrooms.
3. Monitor Healthy Eating
Schools should also monitor what food children eat at school; this will ensure healthy school habits that can last a lifetime for all of the children! Schools can make sure healthy choices are regularly offered and can monitor healthy eating habits in schools.
4. Encourage Healthy Habits
A healthy school environment can be created by encouraging healthy schools and providing healthy choices for students. Schools should also teach children that eating healthy is essential for their long-term health and well-being and for their physical appearance. Teachers need to set an excellent example of healthy living by setting healthy goals and eating healthy themselves.
5. Make Children Do Physical Activities
Physical education classes are an essential aspect of healthy living. Schools should ensure they have the facilities to encourage healthy exercise and healthy competition by providing children with opportunities to play sports and participate in other healthy activities that get their heart rate up and their blood pumping. Children need healthy outlets for their energy to channel it back into the classroom where it is required.
6. Regular Essential Health Checkups in Schools
Basic health checkups are essential for healthy living. The school should have a healthy environment with healthy foods, healthy activities, and healthy relationships. Schools should ensure that children are kept healthy with regular basic health checkups from nurses or doctors rather than waiting until later when their condition worsens. Regular preventative medical care is the best way to help children avoid the danger of obesity.
7. Education to Children and Parents About Healthy Lifestyle
It is imperative to educate children and their parents on a healthy lifestyle. Children should learn healthy eating habits from childhood to grow up healthy and fit, avoiding many diseases in adulthood such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, etc. Good eating habits can be encouraged in schools as part of healthy lifestyle education.
Parents need to take responsibility too and make healthy food available for their children at home so that they do not have to rely on junk food outside the school canteen. Parents should encourage their kids to be active and lead healthy lifestyles like going jogging, cycling, swimming, etc. Regular counselling is necessary in this regard.
Perks of Early Prevention of Childhood Obesity
1. Avoiding the need for obesity treatments and medication later.
2. Healthier, more active kids who can participate in healthy activities like sports, etc.
3. Prevention of obesity-related diseases.
4. Boosts the child’s self-esteem and confidence.
5. The healthy habits learned at a young age will help the child to lead a healthy lifestyle for life.
Due to lack of awareness, most parents are not aware that their obese kids are getting obese day by day because they do not know the criteria that define overweight and underweight. They also fail to realize that childhood obesity is severe and needs to be treated as soon as possible. All healthy habits are not formed in the first few years of a child’s life, but if healthy habits can be developed when they are young, they will be easier to maintain later in life.
Obesity in children is becoming a severe problem, with an estimated 20% of teenagers being overweight or obese. The average weight of children has also increased by an average of 2.5 pounds per decade since the 1950s, with peaks in the 1970s and 1990s. Body fat makes up a higher percentage in overweight/obese people than healthy-weight individuals. Some of the risk factors for obesity include:
1. Juvenile diabetes
2. Heart diseases
4. Fatty liver
5. Psychological problems
Childhood obesity prevention is a team effort. Parents, teachers, and children all need to come together for the best chance at success. We hope you found this guide helpful in understanding how schools can help reduce childhood obesity rates while still making learning fun! If your child’s school isn’t already doing these things, don’t worry–most of them are probably on board with implementing some or all of these ideas as soon as possible. Regarding parents, we recommend checking out our blog post about healthy eating habits that kids can learn from their families at home if they’re not already practicing those routines (or teaching similar values). You’ll find plenty of great tips there too! Thanks so much for reading through this article; have a good day!
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