It feels like it’s every other day that we’re reading about another study on how childhood obesity is on the rise in America. TV, gaming, and the Internet have led our kids to a much more sedentary lifestyle, meaning the weight’s gone up while activity has gone way down. A leading group of pediatricians have pinpointed the consumption of all kinds of media as the culprit. So, what do you do? Much like going on a food diet to lose weight, put your kids on a media diet and get them active!
The American Academy of Pediatrics is asking pediatricians to ask parents these 2 questions at checkups:
–How much time are you spending in front of a screen each day?
–Is there a TV or device with an Internet connection in your bedroom?
Paying attention to these two activities (or non-activities) can guide recommendations from pediatricians about kids becoming more active. They recommend that kids shouldn’t spend more than 2 hours a day in front of the TV or computer, and kids 2 and under shouldn’t be watching TV at all. Notice all those commercials for junk food on television? Children easily buy into them, so much so that even if you don’t buy that kind of food for them, they’ll eat it at their friends’ houses, contributing to weight gain. Having a discussion with your kids about nutrition and good/bad food is essential.
What else can you do to help with the media diet? Eat more meals together – the kids can help out with the cooking and cleaning, and you get some quality time at the dinner table. Also, make sure that your kids are getting enough sleep – a lack of it can make them groggy and unmotivated.
What’s your media diet like? Like us on Facebook and tell us!