Healthy Habits to Prevent Childhood Obesity

During 2012/13 a National Child Measurements Programme (NCMP) report showed obesity rates in Year 6 (pupils aged 10-11 years) to be at 20.4% for boys and 17.4% for girls.

As the worlds largest nations continue to expand their waistlines along with the ever-growing taste for fatty and sugary foods, the victims of obesity appear to be growing younger.

Lacking in what some might say sufficient or appropriate support from their governments on this issue, health and educational experts are considering the best strategies and tactics in helping children avoid an unhealthy and often habitual lifestyle and to address the somewhat more challenging goal of getting those who have already developed these bad habits, out of that mind-set and back on track again.

We would like to believe that developing better sports and fitness programmes within schools is a priority on the political agenda and in the wake of many schools selling off land previously used for sports and outdoor recreational areas, many schools now rely alternative measures to teach sports as an extra curricular subject. For many schools this poses as a real challenge, not just with allocating within their budget, but also in allocating the time amongst the already full academic calendar.

For those schools that do have the available time and cash, there are also challenges in finding an overall solution. Children want choices and options when it comes to sports and fitness and above all else, they should feel as if they are participating because they want to and not because they have to.

Family life will have their fair amount of challenges too. Parents with less disposable incomes will tend to have fewer options when it comes to healthier food shopping choices. Working parents may not have the extra time for additional sports and exercise, which can inadvertently set it lower down the values list for their children too.

Life unfortunately continues to provide easier opportunities for children to become overweight and be on the road to obesity. Removing the habits that have caused these circumstances does not come in the form of a one size fits all super-fix-it-technique, however these habits once highlighted can be addresses fairly quickly with the correct motivation and support.

Whilst there are strategies within NLP, EFT and Hypnotherapy to learn that would help anyone move away from obesity, there are a few key elements that will always have to be congruent in ones mind-set before any successful form of treatment can begin:

  • Motivation: They must want it! The positive results that will occur once they are dedicated and following a healthier life style will speak for themselves. This cant work just because the doctor alone said it must.

  • Honesty: The whole family must be honest to each other about their habits. They must be open about what they do and don’t do to help them. Often in NLP and Hypnotherapy we are the last solution, so it is important that the family must be open and honest about why all of the other methods have failed.

  • Everyone must be on board: When a child is overweight or obese, the entire family is compounding the issue in one way or another. All the family must encourage and support the child and each other, in making the change. Change can often only happen for a child when all other bad habits that affect that child’s life changes too.

  • Commitment to the Cause: Overcoming obesity is not as simple as stopping a nail biting habit. There are some in depth challenges that we help with (using NLP, EFT and Hypnotherapy) where the result can be seemingly immediately in breaking the habits. That said, if you get help to stop biting your nails, you’ll know within a day or two if it has worked, however weight doesn’t disappear overnight. The greater the obesity, the longer it will take to achieve the desired results.

  • Being Realistic: Everyone in the family should know what the persons goal is and have the same realistic steps in mind for how they will achieve it. If the child needs to lose a stone or two, this isn’t going to be possible overnight. It will take longer and this takes us back to the point about commitment.

If you know a child or anyone who would benefit from losing weight, please help them to develop new and healthy habits.

Initial author Gemma Bailey

Added to by Del Walsh