1) Saturate the children's environment with good food choices.
Influence:Intelligent food choices made by parents and school officials can prove beneficial to helping children make wise choices themselves. Under the care of their elders, children mimic behaviors, whether right or wrong.
When adults make dietary decisions, it is important to note that the children are watching and are ready to model their behavior. Our decisions drive their decisions.
For instance, children should never be presented with the opportunity to choose between "carbonated drinks . . . [and] healthy fruit juices" (Karnik & Kanekar, 2012).
At least not during childhood as it puts the children in a compromising situation. The mere fact that they are presented with carbonated drinks, in their minds, means it is acceptable.
Children presented with a range of healthy choices from the start will not have to be forced to choose unappealing healthy foods which can lead to avoidance behaviors (Hanks, Just, & Wansink, 2013).
Effortless Effort:Without the right people (at home and school) teaming up to reduce childhood obesity, every effort made by a single influence will not work.
Policies made at the school "level of influence" (Williams et al., 2015) without parents on board will not succeed because after all is said and done at school, children will go home where poor food choices are potentially available.
As the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) teams up with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) "to improve students’ nutritional intake," parents should also be a part of this team since they are responsible for their children's dietary needs outside of school (Taber, Chriqui, Powell, & Chaloupka, 2013).
Question: What types of weight issues have you or your loved ones faced? Share your comment below.
Hanks, A. S., Just, D. R., & Wansink, B. (2013). Smarter lunchrooms can address new school lunchroom guidelines and childhood obesity. The Journal of Pediatrics, 162(4), 867-869.
Karnik, S., & Kanekar, A. (2012). Childhood obesity: a global public health crisis. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3(1), 1-7.
Taber, D. R., Chriqui, J. F., Powell, L., & Chaloupka, F. J. (2013). Association between state laws governing school meal nutrition content and student weight status: implications for new USDA school meal standards. JAMA Pediatrics, 167(6), 513-519.
Williams, A. J., Henley, W. E., Williams, C. A., Hurst, A. J., Logan, S., & Wyatt, K. M. (2013). Systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between childhood overweight and obesity and primary school diet and physical activity policies. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10(1), 1.