Why it’s important to create healthy habits with your children

Mar 30, 2023, 6:01 PM | Updated: Mar 31, 2023, 5:32 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Childhood obesity continues to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health experts say it’s important to create healthy habits at a young age with your kids to ensure they have a healthy life.

Dr. Neal Davis, a pediatrician at Intermountain Health, said he believes the rise in childhood obesity could be attributed to higher sugar intake, lower physical activity, and more screen time.

“Lives now for children are so different than they were several decades ago,” he said.

Davis said childhood obesity has serious health effects, adding that it could lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

“When kids fall into obesity, it can be limiting, and that can have long term implications for health,” he said.

To get started on a healthier lifestyle for your kids, Davis recommends the 5-2-1-0 method:

  • five servings of fruits and veggies a day
  • no more than two hours of screen time
  • at least one hour of physical activity a day
  • zero sweetened beverages

“Helping kids understand that food is something that we can prepare and eat, and that it helps our body have fuel and help us grow,” Davis said. “A positive relationship with food is another important thing.”

Justin McPheters and his wife, Katrina, have five kids, and they make exercise a priority to keep their kids healthy.

“We have always wanted our kids to exercise and enjoy life,” Katrina said.

The McPheters said they enjoy hiking together as a family — even hiking Kings Peak, the highest peak in Utah.

“I just love seeing them do hard things,” Justin said.

“When we first started hiking, it was a struggle to keep them going, but now, they are a lot faster than I am,” Katrina said.

The McPheters said when it comes to physical activity, they started small, and recommend others do the same.

“It doesn’t have to be a big, long all-day thing, but just doing something to move around,” Justin said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Your Life Your Health

Davis (right) with her child visiting her doctor. (KSL TV's Emma Benson)...

Emma Benson

What you need to know about getting vaccinated while pregnant

It's cold and flu season, and pregnant mothers and newborns are among those most vulnerable to illnesses, but expectant moms can protect themselves -- and their babies -- through vaccination.

4 days ago

On the one-year anniversary of his heart attack, Morgan Daines and Dr. O'Neal rode up Wolf Creek Pa...

Emma Benson

Don’t wait: heart attack rapid response saves life of Utah dad

If you or a loved one were to experience a heart attack, time becomes a matter of life or death. KSL's Emma Benson shows us how a collaborative program at Intermountain Medical Center saved the life of an otherwise healthy patient.

11 days ago

Holiday dinner...

Emma Benson

Food prep tips to prepare that Thanksgiving feast safely

It's almost time to gobble up that delicious, long-awaited meal. Before you throw that turkey in the oven, there are some things you need to know. 

20 days ago

Therapist talks to dancer...

Emma Benson

Dancers always aware of potential for injuries

It's an art form and a sport that’s beautiful to watch. But dance doesn’t come without risk of injury.  

25 days ago

Debra Eaton rolling out in a wheelchair after having her surgery....

Emma Benson

Davis County woman who nearly lost foot urges other diabetics to monitor health

A 7th-grade teacher is hoping her experience of almost losing her leg to diabetes will urge others to take care of their health.

1 month ago

(KSL TV)...

Dan Rascon

A newborn screening test could be all difference between life and death

A newborn screening test in Utah could be the difference between life and death.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Why it’s important to create healthy habits with your children