Healthy Lifestyles for Kids by Allison Foster MD

The number of overweight children in the United States is increasing at a concerning rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or obese.  There are a lot of factors that are contributing to this epidemic, many of which fall under the category of lifestyle habits.

On average, kids now spend less time exercising and more time watching TV and playing computer or video games.  Remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 2 hours of total screen time per day.  This includes time spent on the computer.  Additionally, American families today are busier than ever, making it easier to replace nutritious home-cooked meals with quick and easy fast-food.  Kids are drinking too many sugary, high-calorie drinks such as soda and juice.  One 8 oz cup of juice contains 150 calories and 38grams of sugar! Keep in mind, the best drinks for kids of all ages are milk and water, and juice should be limited to no more than one serving (4-6oz) a day.

In order to keep kids from becoming overweight, families must adapt their eating habits, activity levels, and the way that they spend time together.  Cooking nutritious meals together, going for fun family walks and finding ways to spend quality time together that don’t involve the tv are great ways to get on the right track.

Remember, helping kids lead healthy lifestyles begins with parents who lead by example!

Dr. Allison Foster

General Pediatrician

Offices in Calumet City, Harvey, and Flossmoor, IL

Call 708-333-3030 to schedule an appointment