Forum Thread: How to Use Digital Apps to Promote Healthy Eating

In relatively recent years, there's been an increased focus on wellness and healthy behavior for children and adults. Practitioner led obesity treatment enables kids to develop healthy eating habits and avoid obesity-related health issues.

America has a problem with obesity – and it starts from childhood. Physicians point parents in the right direction by promoting healthy eating habits.

With children, however, parents and caretakers must approach the promotion of healthy habits for their kids with sensitivity. Now, parents can take advantage of relatively new resources that can help them promote healthier habits for themselves and their kids – online apps.

Use the Screen for Good!

It's well-documented that an inactive lifestyle can contribute to obesity. Accordingly, parents should encourage less screen time and more green time.

Today, studies show that 70% of teens check their cell phones as soon as they wake-up. Researchers link excessive screen time to poor health outcomes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Scientists attribute excessive, nonproductive online activity to various ailments, such as behavioral problems, obesity and poor sleep.

Screen time is beneficial for children when they use smart devices to learn new things. However, too much screen time is detrimental, especially when spent on activities such as noneducational gaming and program watching.

A Pew Research Center survey reveals that over half of polled teens believe they spend too much time using smartphones. Pew Research also found that 90% of teens believe that too much television is a problem for their age group. Also, 60% of surveyed teens believe too much television is a significant problem.

Kids and young adults who spend too much time watching television and using smart devices miss out on activities that are integral to healthy development. For example, kids may fail to develop communication, problem-solving and social interaction skills if they spend too much time in front of screens.

Use Apps That Encourage Movement

Parents must ensure that diet and exercise changes are safe for their kids. Before beginning a new routine to improve a child's physical health, parents should consult with a pediatrician.

Convincing a child to spend less time using their smartphone or tablet is difficult today. Most kids enjoy colorful, upbeat games. However, playing those games is mostly a sedentary activity.

Today, only one in three children maintain an active lifestyle. Most kids now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen. Resultantly, parents must make an extra effort to compel kids to participate in physical activity.

Kids should exercise at least 60 minutes per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One way to compel children to get active is to introduce them to apps that promote physical activity.

Treasure Dash, for instance, encourages kids to stand up and jump in place and move while they play the game. Another excellent game for promoting physical activity is 7 Minute Workouts with Lazy Monster. By moving with their smart device, kids can move a character on the screen. The game doesn't require any exercise equipment, and rounds last 30 seconds for a total of seven minutes of exercise for each session.

For football fans, the American Heart Association offers NFL Play 60 for kids. As children play the game, they can earn new characters and power-ups while learning about staying fit in the real world.

Getting the Right Perspective

Poor diet creates problems for kids in more ways than one. It contributes to obesity, while at the same time failing to provide children with necessary nutrients.

Childhood obesity is a significant problem in the United States, and around the world, over 2.5 million people die because of obesity, according to the World Health Organization.

It's fine if kids eat fast food or candy occasionally. However, these food items become a problem when they become part of a child's regular diet.

Obese children are more likely to remain so as they grow into adulthood. They face a heightened risk of developing conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Often, these conditions will not present until the child becomes an adult. Obese adults also face a higher risk of contracting musculoskeletal disorders and cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

Adults are the best resource that kids have to learn about leading a healthy lifestyle. Parents can encourage kids to eat healthily and exercise regularly. Using health and fitness-oriented apps, parents can encourage children to develop long-lasting healthy habits.

Diet and weight loss products are a dangerous way to lose weight – especially for kids. Alternatively, parents should encourage low-pressure, gradual weight loss and the development of permanent healthy habits for kids.

Studies show that positive family encouragement helps kids to develop long-term healthy behavior. By making a healthy lifestyle a family affair, parents can ensure that their kids develop healthy diet and exercise habits.

With guidance and encouragement, parents can set a good example for their kids that will last a lifetime.

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