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The Three Main Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Children’s Health

Melvin Schlubman Flickr from Yahoo!

In a survey by the YMCA, 89% of parents with kids aged five to ten thought they were either “good” or “excellent” at making sure their kids lived a healthy lifestyle.  But one-third of U.S. kids are overweight or obese.

 Which means a lot of parents are clueless when it comes to their kids’ health.  Here’s a list from “Time” magazine of the three main ways you might be sabotaging your children’s health.  And yeah . . . it’s the ones you’re thinking of.

 #1.)  Letting Them Watch Too Much TV.  Almost half of the parents surveyed said they let their kids watch more than two hours of TV a day, and 74% of parents said they spent family time doing sedentary things . . . like watching more TV.

 But it’s hard to bond in front of the TV, since everyone has to stay quiet the whole time.  So going for a walk or a family bike ride is better anyway.

#2.)  Letting Them Stay Inside All Day.  This sort of goes hand-in-hand with watching too much TV, but 84% of the parents who were surveyed said their children don’t play outside on a daily basis.

And 74% said their kids don’t meet the minimum recommendation of one hour of aerobic activity a day.

But making sure your kids are active is important in more ways than one:  A 2009 study of 11,000 eight and nine-year-olds found that kids behaved better in school if they got just 15 minutes of recess per day.

 #3.)  Letting Them Eat Too Much Junk Food.  This is the big one:  According to recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 40% of the calories consumed by 2-to-18-year-olds are “empty” calories from fat and sugar.

And only 16% of parents in the YMCA poll said they make sure their kids get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, which is the recommended MINIMUM.  Meanwhile, 10% of ALL their calories come from soda and fruit drinks.

So in other words, you should teach your kids to drink more water, and cut back on things like chips and candy.

It won’t just affect their weight, it’ll affect their brains too.  A study done last year found that three-year-olds who had diets that were high in fat, sugar, and calories had lower IQs by age eight compared to kids who had healthy diets. 

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