"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
It's not uncommon to hear parents of overweight children talk about their young ones with great concern. The parents well know the health and social challenges that lay ahead of children with overweight issues. But the greatest challenge lies in changing the attitudes of their children toward their body, fitness and nutrition. While many overweight teenagers accept they have weight issues, they tend to live in a world of denial along with their parents. Their weight slowly creeps upwards from an early age and seems to accelerate as they reach teenage hood. It seems the only thing left for them to do is to accept their fate and live in a life of shame and low self-esteem along with the prospect of weight-related health problems as adults.
The greatest catalyst for change and a positive body image must come from someone whom they trust most. In most cases, this will be their parents. The parents are ultimately responsible for what foods their children eat and how much physical activities they participate in. This is why it's important to develop healthy eating habits and incorporate fun physical activity into every child's life from an early age. Unfortunately, a lot of parents also grew up in homes where nutrition and healthy living was a not a top priority and therefore it's difficult for them to set an example or teach their children the value of a healthy life style.
In recent years, the amount of information available on child obesity and how to counter this alarming epidemic has clearly grown. The Internet, and health magazines are full of articles on health tips for children and teens on how to loose weight and improve their fitness level, but taking health tips from an article and putting them into practice often proves difficult. The toughest part of weight loss for children is breaking old unhealthy habits and replacing them with new ones. Any parent will tell you introducing a new healthier menu in their home is often met with great resistance. Introducing children to a healthier lifestyle lies in being part of a group with similar overweight children who are given only nutritious meals as part of a daily routine over a period of a few weeks along with some type of physical activity.
Weight loss camps can provide a fast start to getting overweight children back on track to healthy physical and emotional growth with the following programs:
Children participate daily in quality fun physical education that inspires team spirit and individual achievement. Providing nutritious food options that are low in fat and calories, as well as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat or non-fat dairy products. Reducing the time spent watching television and in other sedentary activities such as Internet browsing and chat. Educate the children about the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity and the risk of obesity as adults. Change the perception of their weight issue so children focus on the health issues instead of their body image and personal appearance. Create a sustainable long-term weight loss plan for children when they leave the camp by educating the parents about nutrition and family involvement in physical activities.
This article is presented by Camp Shane. For more info on Camp Shane, please visit www.campshane.com.