September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and here at Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, we know experts are worried the ongoing coronavirus health emergency is going to become a serious problem--the number of children considered obese is approaching 20%--even worse. Ironically, obesity is a risk factor for the virus, and yet, the cancellation of sports, encouraging people to stay home, and online learning are all contributing to the risk of an increase in obesity among children. We’d like to offer our Macomb County patients some practical advice to help children grow up with sound lifestyle habits that will help them maintain an appropriate and healthy weight.
- Gym class is not cancelled! Think about it. If your child is learning from home, they are not even getting the basic physical activity of walking to the bus, changing classes, and yes, having gym class. Children must get at least an hour of strenuous activity daily to burn calories and help avoid gaining excess weight. Add a bike ride, run, circuit training, or other exercise activity to the schedule either before or after completion of their schoolwork. Encourage active pursuits for leisure time like hiking, ice skating, or rollerblading.
- Teach the basics of good nutrition. Explore www.choosemyplate.gov with your child. It offers a wealth of information about healthy eating habits. Show your child a simple way to fill their dinner plate: one-half vegetables or salad, one-quarter lean protein, one-quarter healthy carbohydrates. Encourage portion control and teach your child how to read labels for calories, serving size, and fats.
- Encourage pro-active health habits. In addition to reinforcing the dangers of underage smoking and drinking, talk to your child about the importance of paying attention to what their body is saying. One way to do this is by not ignoring foot pain (or pain in other parts of the body). There is a direct correlation between foot problems and obesity—if it hurts to move, your child will become more and more sedentary.
Take your children's complaints seriously and make an appointment at our Macomb (586) 416-3668, St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 or Warren (586) 756-3338 offices promptly. Our podiatrists, Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw, and Dr. Philip M. Watkins, will examine your child’s feet and diagnose the issue that’s keeping them from enjoying the active life they love and need.