width=276New research in Pediatrics reveals some useful take-home messages for parents of preschoolers.

Q. How can you easily lower the odds of your child becoming obese?
A. There are 3 simple steps you can take.

What are they?

  1. Regularly eat the evening meal as a family (>5 nights per week).
  2. Ensure adequate nighttime sleep for your child on weekdays (≥10.5 hours per night).
  3. Limit screen-viewing (television, video, DVD) time on weekdays (≤2 hours/day).

According to the research of ~8550 four-year-old US children, the odds of being obese are lowered by 40% where all three of these steps are taken. This is compared with children who follow none of these steps.

In the complex world of obesity and diet it is helpful to have some simple guidelines to shoot for as a parent. These steps will force you to take a broader look at your lifestyle - particularly where busyness is eating into a healthy family life.