Teacher's Guide to Preventing Childhood Obesity

One of the main concerns of pediatric health is the increase in childhood obesity. The percentage of obese children has tripled in many countries over the past century and is a cause for alarm in countries such as the United States or even Spain, so eradicating this problem is a real challenge that must be faced today not only from the home itself but also from schools, as it is the place where children spend most of their time.

Not only can childhood obesity affect a person’s physical health, it can also lead to a wide variety of social and emotional problems over time . The problems that overweight children can face, even more so than other children, are some such as asthma, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems or risk factors for heart disease. Depression, low self-esteem, intimidation and social isolation are other problems that can arise as a consequence of childhood obesity , so it is important to consider ways to prevent these growing statistics in children by taking appropriate measures also from the educational community .



A Guide to Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Classroom

Obesity in children is influenced by a variety of factors, including but not limited to genetics, metabolism, education, or one’s financial situation. While teachers cannot control what happens outside of their classrooms, they can be positive role models and encourage healthy behaviors. What can a teacher do to help change course and set a good health example for the students in their care?





  • Promote and implement health education

Many children have no idea what a healthy diet or exercise regimen entails, or what it really means to have a healthy lifestyle in general, but in reality many adults don’t have much idea of how to lead a balanced life either, so that it is especially difficult to be aware of such things when you are younger.

If you are a teacher, use your experience to reinforce healthy habits in the curriculum regardless of the subject you teach . Keep in mind that teaching health and nutrition throughout the day can help lead children to much healthier lives at home and wherever they go.

Working healthy lifestyle lesson plans into your curriculum will not only make children aware of the importance of their own health, but will also encourage and generate ideas on how to stay healthy on a regular basis in the present and in the future. future.

Teach them simple guidelines on healthy eating, suggest new recipes, or introduce students to the importance of crops and caring for the environment. It does not matter if you are a mathematics or language teacher, because teaching must also be to show how to behave well in society or live healthy and positively , even through little tips that hardly take time from the subject to be taught.


  • Get children moving with physical activities

It is estimated that children should get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day and 30 minutes of somewhat strenuous activity at least three times a week. While this may already be a standard requirement for your school’s curriculum, make sure your students take adequate time to engage in recommended physical activities outside or in the school gym.

You can also incorporate physical activity into your daily learning plans , as it could be something as simple as providing a stretching break for children or allowing a few minutes of simple exercises based on jumping jacks or push-ups to relax and clear your way. the mind.





  • Encourage a healthy diet

Make sure the school you are working in has healthy guidelines for school lunches and menus , as this is essential to promoting good health in the classroom.

If parents are responsible for preparing lunches or meals, it is important that guidelines are provided and healthy options are established based on fruits, vegetables, whole grain options and foods high in protein. The example of the teachers should also be shown in the form of respect for food.


  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Your role as a teacher gives you the opportunity to have a great impact on your students, and that is that children not only tend to admire their teachers, but also observe every day how they live and seem to behave.

When children learn that one of their priorities is to stay healthy, eat nutritious food and exercise, they are more likely to end up realizing it and incorporating it into their progressive lifestyles. That is why it is so important to promote health initiatives at school, hold races or competitions with prizes and play games that allow everyone to participate and maintain health.

Without a doubt, reducing the risk and cases of childhood obesity should be a priority for all members of the educational community, and these ideas can be a good starting point to make a difference. Having a good diet and good physical conditioning can be fun, and that children can grow up with this idea is part of the important role that the school and its representatives play in all this.


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