Article- Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

By: Veronica Ruiz- Ashwal, LMHC

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” Jane D. Hill


Childhood obesity effects the entire family! It is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. The solution is eating foods and increasing physical activity, but it’ll be tough for your child to do it alone. The most effective way to treat- and prevent- childhood obesity is to adopt healthier habits for the entire family.
Rather than singling out your child, encourage the whole family to make healthy lifestyle changes  such as:
  • Start small. Gradual changes are easiest to incorporate into daily routine- and maintain long term.
  • Set goals. Set realistic, measurable goals for each family member, and then determine family goals.
  • Recognize triggers. Be prepared for situations that may tempt you to fall back to your old habits.
  • Celebrate Success. Frequent rewards can keep your family motivated.
  • Keep it positive. Focus on healthy lifestyle changes, rather than your child’s appearance or a number on a scale.
  • Be flexible. It’ll take time to get used to your healthier habits.
  • Keep healthy foods on hand. Stock your kitchen with fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods and other healthy choices. Keep junk food and sugary drinks out of the house.
  • Eat in. Reduce the number of meals your family eats in fast-food and other restaurants.
  • Build Physical activity into daily routine. Put as much emphasis on moving more as on eating less.
  • Limit household screen time. Set reasonable rules for TV, computer, and video game time, such as one to two hours a day for each family member- including mom and dad.


Making lifestyle changes can be challenging, especially when you’re busy juggling the demands of daily life. If your family works together and supports each others’ efforts, however, you’re more likely to succeed. Eventually healthy habits will become routine – and you’ll be well on your way to treating childhood obesity and improving your family’s health.  At the Center, it is our pleasure to offer “solutions…not talk”

To learn more and receive training in order to stay connected, call The Center of Psychological Effectiveness.