Child Obesity, What Can We Do?

Child Obesity, What Can We Do?

Keeping in mind the name of our blog is “Cleveland Real Estate and More“, today’s post has nothing to do with real estate and to me, is “more” important.

It amazes me that the rate of childhood obesity continues to increase. I have seen staggering figures that upwards of 35% of children in America are obese, and it makes me sad.


childhood obesity


One of my serious passions in life is health and fitness.  I work out 1-2 hours a day doing weights, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and anything else I can, just to push myself. I realize that many adults don’t like to exercise or eat healthy, and that’s certainly their choice. However, when it comes to children, kids only know what they are taught.  Therefore, we must do a better job when it comes to teaching them healthy habits, and leading by example.  Here is one simple thing we have done that has been successful.

Basically, we require our kids to exercise at least 20 minutes plus eat a certain amount of fruits and vegetables every day in order to earn dessert, no exceptions.  I call it a reward for positive behavior rather than taking something away for bad behavior. In my mind, it is pretty minimal, but a good foundation on which to build. This is purely my rule because Amy has a hard time with discipline. The kids think I am mean but I would rather be viewed as a mean parent with healthy kids than a well liked parent with unhealthy children.

While we certainly don’t claim to know everything about parenting, we have shared this with some of our friends and they seem to love the idea. The most important thing is to teach kids the concept of moderation, so they can form good habits now and grow up to be healthy productive adults.

We actually go so far as to follow this model ourselves as parents, so we can lead by example. Personally, I have no problem with this as I rarely eat dessert, but I have to watch Amy like a hawk as she has a tendency to want to cheat after putting the kids to bed.

I suppose that we can discuss putting a tax on soft drinks, limit how much TV our kids watch, or attempt to get schools to have gym more than once a week. But in the end, as parents, it is our job to teach our kids how to live a healthy lifestyle and if we don’t, they may grow up with health problems that could have been prevented with just a little bit of education and some tough love. 



About The Authors

This information is provided compliments of Dan and Amy Schuman of The Schuman Team, Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cleveland, please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235.


Child Obesity, What Can We Do?  is the property of The Schuman Team and may be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©March,2010

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