By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 08, 2017
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At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that being overweight puts additional strain on your feet and increases your risk of many foot and other health disorders. For children, obesity has additional detriments: young bones and muscles are still developing and being overweight can limit necessary physical activity for healthy development; being teased and ostracized can have serious mental health consequences; young people who don’t change their habits now may be setting themselves up for many health problems as adults.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Below are tips to help your family. Whether you have a child or other family member that struggles to maintain a healthy weight or not, these suggestions for a healthier lifestyle will benefit all:

1.Increase fruits and vegetables. Strive for at least 5 servings a day. Offer fruits and veggies for snacks. Add a salad or carrot and celery sticks to lunch. Encourage your children to help you pick out new items in the produce aisle that you haven’t tried before and find ways to prepare them together that the whole family will enjoy. Consider making one night a week meatless and try new vegetarian dishes.

2.Drink more water. Many times people think they’re hungry when they are really thirsty. Each family member should strive to drink in ounces half the number of pounds they weigh (i.e., a 100 pound person should drink 50 ounces of water a day). Drinking a glass of water before meals will increase the sensation of fullness and cause you to eat less.

3.Get everyone moving! Children and teens should have at least 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity every day (and it wouldn’t hurt adults either!). Lead by example and make fitness a time for family fun. Substitute a game of basketball or a bike ride for watching television or playing a board game.

4.Set a time limit on screens. Yes, most homework involves a computer these days, but once that’s done, be firm and consistent about the amount of time your children are allowed to play video games, use their cell phones, notebooks, pads, etc. for games and media viewing.

5.Educate your child about good health. Encourage older children and teens to do some research on the connection between fitness, weight and health. Help them to discover how maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other health problems.

Apply that same proactive approach to health to your child’s feet. Teach them good basic foot care and don’t delay in seeking an evaluation from our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah if your child is experiencing pain or unusual foot or ankle symptoms. You can contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.