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Preventing Obesity
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800 S. Washington Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48601
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Preventing Obesity

Parents can influence their children's behavior by encouraging healthy eating and regular aerobic exercise.

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offer some exercise guidelines for children ages 5 and older:

  • Provide at least 30 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity activities every day.

  • Provide a total of at least 60 minutes of vigorous physical activities most days a week to maintain heart and lung fitness.

  • As an alternative to 60 minutes of activity, provide two 30-minute or three 20-minute periods of activity appropriate for the age, gender and development of your child.

  • Set strict limits for TV watching, computer use and play with handheld computer games.

  • Don't use food as a reward for your children's accomplishments; instead, plan a physical activity that they will enjoy.

  • During the summer, sign your children up for a sports camp or other camp that focuses on physical activity as a way to keep your kids moving during the summer.

The AHA also recommends the following dietary guidelines for children ages 2 and over:

  • Total fat should be no more than 30 percent of total daily calories.

  • Saturated fat should be no more than 10 percent of total daily calories.

  • Dietary cholesterol should be less than 300 mg per day.

  • Use the "age + 5" guideline for calculating the appropriate amount of fiber. Using the formula, a 7-year-old should eat 12 grams of fiber (7+5=12). When their daily calorie intake reaches 1,500 or more, increase fiber to 25 grams.

  • Children also should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and other foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol.


800 South Washington Avenue | Saginaw, MI 48601 |
(989) 907-8000 | 1-844-907-8000
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