Cell phones, iPads, laptops, television, radio, unlimited apps; kids these days have access to anything and everything. With new technology comes new issues for society, including childhood obesity, personality disorders and bullying.
National Child Health Day is a day of national conversation calling for education and guidance for ensuring children in this country to lead healthy and responsible lives. In honor of this day, we at California Wheels decided to pull together some of our thoughts on combatting today’s biggest issues among our children.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in the year 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese in the United States. The CDC’s finding also points out a larger scale issue that will play out in the future. Children who are obese are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol or high blood pressure. And the culprit of this spike in obesity? Fast food.
It’s undeniable that popular food chains are stealing the nutrition out from children’s diets. According to CBS News, approximately 1 in 3 American children eat fast food daily. So how can we reduce this number to bring down the number of obese children?
We suggest a few things. First, reduce the amount of fast food you feed your children to once or twice a week. Watch cooking channels or read health magazines to get affordable healthy dinner options, like salmon or multigrain pasta. Second, exercise. If you do buy fast food, make sure physical activity follows it. Spending at least 50 minutes outside doing some type of physical activity (tennis, soccer, bike riding, playing tag, etc.) can help burn calories and keep the brain active.
Personality Disorders and Bullying
While it’s important to keep your child physically active and healthy, mental health is also very important for a growing child. New technologies have been linked to creating serious personality and mental disorders. According to Public Health England, children who spend more time in front of television and computer screens are more likely to develop anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression can also lead to isolation and bullying. You can help you child develop a strong mental health by encouraging them to do at least two non-electronic activities a day. These can include having a catch with a friend or playing with a family pet. Taking your child away from their cell phones and gadgets and spending quality time with them can also help your child develop trust and confidence.
National Child Health Day is a great way to understand the needs and wants of your child. It also is a great way to help your child lead a healthy lifestyle. Call California Wheels at (310) 678-9101 to learn about our “Kids Bike Free” initiative–which promotes healthy and active lifestyles among children.