Father Blames Himself for Fat Children
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Father Blames Himself for Fat Children

Daan Schoeman believes that as a parent he has assassinated his sons' bodies with his family's lifestyle and diet. His son Kevin once weighed 145 kg at age 19. According to Huisgenoot, the father of two blames himself for his children's bad eating habits. Three years ago, his son Kevin was up to 145 kg at age 19. His other son Shane was 103 kg at age 16.

Daan Schoeman believes that as a parent he has assassinated his sons' bodies with his family's lifestyle and diet. His son Kevin once weighed 145 kg at age 19.

According to Huisgenoot, the father of two blames himself for his children's bad eating habits.

Three years ago, his son Kevin was up to 145 kg at age 19. His other son Shane was 103 kg at age 16.

At the holiday resort where they have been going for years, the children refused to swim. The closest they would get to the water, is to sit fully dressed next to the swimming pool.

The entire family used to be overweight, with Daan himself at 128kg.

It took a diagnosis of diabetes type 2 to motivate him to lose 29 kg. His wife slimmed down from 105 kg to 65 kg.

Takeaways, eating out, pizza restaurants and steakhouses used to be their source of food.

Today, Daan is ashamed of what they used to eat.

"No child would eat himself as fat; it's all the parent's fault."

During high school, Daan saw Kevin become a recluse.

Both children were ridiculed at school for being overweight.

Finally, last year Kevin decided enough is enough. He designed his own secret diet that he doesn't want to make known, for he says he still wants to register it.

He will say though that more vegetables than meat is part of it, as well as seven days a week of cardiovascular exercise.

Shane finds his older brother an inspiration, and is following a similar diet himself.

Kevin is down to 74 kg (from 145 kg), and Shane is down to 103 kg from 123 kg.

Kevin looks like a completely different person. One problem is the excess skin. Kevin says he'll keep exercising until it's gone.

According to webmd.com, research studies show that parents' attitudes about exercise and weight play important roles in keeping a child's weight healthy. At least one parent must participate in the weight loss process for any hope of long-term success, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders.

Another important reason to get the whole family involved is that obesity runs in families: Obese parents tend to have overweight children. For young children if one parent is obese the odds of the child being obese as an adult is threefold, whereas if both parents are obese the odds that that child will be obese as an adult increases to more than tenfold. Although the causes of obesity involve many factors, environment strongly influences the degree of overweight.

Parental involvement has never been more important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 17% of American children aged 2 to 19 were overweight, up from 11% previously.

"Parents of overweight, and particularly obese children that are inactive, should have the child assessed by their pediatrician or a health care professional before initiating any sport or strenuous exercise or activity," says Ximena Urrutia-Rojas, DrPH, an assistant professor in the department of social and behavioral sciences at the University of North Texas Health Science Center's school of public health.

Age-appropriate Exercise

Here are some suggestions Ted Ganley, MD, orthopaedic director of sports medicine at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, recommends to make sure your kids exercise safely.

  • Kids' activities need to be right for their age, size, and physical development. Competitive distance running may be great for a high schooler but too stressful -- and not much fun -- for a younger child.
  • Set healthy goals. Competition is fine -- if it isn't overdone. Talk with the people who run your child's school or league team to gauge whether the attitude of coaches fits with your child's abilities.
  • Kids need protective equipment for each sport or activity, including helmets for bikers.
  • See your child's pediatrician if your child is limping after exercise, or if muscle soreness lasts throughout the day or night.
  • Not all exercise is good for kids. Weight training and contact sports are areas where parents should be cautious.

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