Dear Parents

Subject: Dear Parents
From: A former "obese" child
Date: 5 Dec 2021

Your child’s health matters. How many times does it need to be repeated? I have seen the negative effects obesity can have on a child through their developmental years. It is a gruesome internal battle! So how do we combat this ever-growing issue? Everyone has heard about exercise and healthy eating. They are important, but isn’t obesity more than just the way a person looks? How about the way a person feels? Allow me to suggest a new way to combat childhood obesity:
First, as I mentioned before, obesity is an internal battle with oneself. As a child I was told by countless doctors that I was obese for my age and height. However, I never felt labelled as obese until I went to the doctors. I had an athletic build. I grew up playing sports, and exercise was an important part of my everyday routine. I also loved eating my fruits and vegetables. But all doctors told me I needed to change my diet and exercise. This caused confusion because I was doing those things. So, naturally, I thought having an athletic build was the equivalent of being obese and started to hate my body. This took a toll on my mental health. I continued to exercise and eat healthy, but I could only view myself as a number. Because my mental health was rocky, I lost interest in staying healthy. Therefore, I find that positive affirmations and early nutrition education is essential in helping children stay motivated for being healthy. Teaching children that a healthy lifestyle positively affects the function of their body is important, so they view exercise as a pathway to build endurance and muscle and not just a way to lose weight. When explained like this exercise seems like an activity and not a chore. For some kids this could entice them to make it a part of their routine. They also should know that all bodies are different and the number on the scale does not always reflect a healthy heart.
Next, I want to talk about meditation and mindfulness. Meditation seems like a time absorbing task, so most people shy away from experiencing the benefits it has. However, you can do a simple fifteen-to-twenty-minute session a day and experience the benefits. The main benefit is clearing the mind. With the stressors of life and the peer pressure kids are sure to endure it is essential that they have a blocked-out time of the day to clear their mind to focus on their health. Being mindful of food is essential in nutrition. The best way to demonstrate mindful eating is for you, the parent, to be an example. Children tend to mimic their parents’ actions. So, if you eat healthy, they most likely will desire to eat healthier as well.
Parents the time is now to help yourself and help your children by promoting a healthy mindset, meditation, and mindfulness to combat and prevent childhood obesity.

Dear Parents © 2021 by Abygail Miller is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International