Madison Magazine April-May 2019 - Page 23

How to be a role model for active living Dr. Jack Rutherford on Health & Fitness C hildhood obesity is a major health crisis in this country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 12 million children and adolescents are obese. This num- ber represents approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 in the U.S. What’s worse, that number has tripled since 1980. Numerous factors account for this alarming rise in childhood obesity, including the consumption of fast food and soft drinks, increased time spent in front of computers, video games and television, and lack of physical activity. We can preach better nutrition, less screen time and more physical activity to our kids or we can demonstrate those important lifestyle behaviors to them by being good role models. Here are some ways to effectively do that: • Teach better nutrition by taking their kids’ total media time to no children to the grocery store and more than one to two hours a walking them up and down the day. And, if you’re going to be an aisles, showing them nutrition effective role model, you should labels and why certain foods abide by that rule as well. are more nutritious than others. Make it a game to see who can • Engage in family physical activ- find the most nutritious cereal ity. The 2008 Physical Activity or snack food. Be sure to let Guidelines for Americans recom- them select some of those nutri- mends that children and ado- tious foods for their own school lescents get at least 60 minutes lunches. By teaching nutrition at of physical activity each day. an early age, it’s more likely that Parents can play a key role in they will make healthier food helping their kids achieve these choices as they get older and daily recommendations by par- more independent. ticipating in fun activities as a family. Taking bike rides, going to playgrounds, hiking and many • Limit screen time. The amount of time kids spend staring at a other activities can be both fun screen is mind blowing. Some es- and physically rewarding. Smart timates suggest kids between the watches or fit bits can be helpful ages of 8 and 18 watch television and interesting tools to help kids for an average of 4.5 hours a day. achieve their goals. Challenge Add to that other forms of screen them (and you too) to get 10,000 time and the figure jumps to steps a day. If children see their more than 7.5 hours a day. Give parents exercising regularly, they them the necessary time to do are more likely to consider it as their homework but beyond that, a normal part of their own daily set limits for them for playing regimes. Never use exercise as video games, watching movies punishment. It should always be or looking at cell phones. The something to look forward to, American Academy of Pediatrics not despise. recommends that parents limit How are you being a good role model for your family’s health? Kentucky’s First Choice For Retirement Living Independent Living Living Independent A Continuum of Care... 625-1400 625-1400 In a Community That Cares Assisted Living Assisted Living 625-1400 625-1400 Personal Personal Nursing Care Nursing Care 626-5200 626-5200 Conveniently Creek Ave., Ave. , Conveniently located located off off Tates Creek Near downtown downtown Richmond Richmond Near A P R I L- M AY 2 0 1 9 Madison Magazine 23