Since 1963, the instance of childhood obesity has tripled in the United States. Obesity in children causes a high instance of related diseases including high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, and depression. The emotional cost is high and manifests as low self- esteem and earlier death rates as a child moves into adulthood.
But childhood obesity is about more than just diet and exercise. Yes, kids need to be encouraged to eat healthy foods and to engage in more movement. But parental attitude is the real key to success or failure in managing childhood obesity, especially once it becomes a serious issue.
Well meaning parents can put such a strong daily emphasis on what an overweight child eats and how much he is exercising, that child rebellion may kick in and produce a negative result.
Henry Gets Moving is a bilingual children's book that promotes healthy lifestyle habits for children. Henry the Hamster is a young boy whose family moves to a new town during the summer. He doesn't have any friends yet, and spends his time sitting around, playing video games and eating unhealthy foods. When school starts, he has difficulty in class and at play. Like many children, Henry is teased for his weight. A discouraged Henry receives positive support from his friend, his physician, and his family to overcome his obesity and poor eating habits. Henry s determination and positive support network are the foundation of successful community wellness movements. Henry gets moving and good things happen!
This and the Henry website guides us with sensitivity and compassionate verbiage on how to support a child who is overweight without creating shame or impeding his progress. Go Henry!