“The rise of childhood obesity has placed the health of an entire generation at risk”
WHAT IS CHILDHOOD OBESITY?
A condition in which a child is significantly overweight for his or her age and height.
Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder among children & adolescents. Its occurrence has increased at an alarming rate in recent years that it is considered to be a major health concern. As obesity creeps into preschools, hypertension & Diabetes type II become pediatric problems. It is best tackled at home through improved, prenatal involvement, increased physical exercise, good diet & restraint from binge eating.
Lifestyle and eating habits play a significant role in the development of obesity in children, Only in rare cases is being overweight caused by a medical condition such as a hormonal problem
ENERGY INTAKE Vs ENERGY EXPENDITURE-
During childhood & adolescence, excess fat accumulates when total intake of energy exceeds the amount of energy spends, this imbalance is usually a consequence of a sedentary lifestyle due to television watching, excessive computer or Gadget use & insufficient playtime outdoors.
Children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents & adults, placing them at a high risk of developing a chronic disease such as heart disease or diabetes later in life.
Obesity if not corrected early in kids predisposes them to a number of conditions as
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Early heart disease
- Insulin resistance Diabetes type II
- Increased mechanical load on the bones causing chronic pain and deformity.
- Affecting puberty causing fertility problems later in life.
- Low self-esteem
- Skin problems like acne and fungal infections
HELP FIGHT CHILDHOOD OBESITY
1. PROMOTE HEALTHY EATING
Introduce vegetables and fruits early in your child’s life. More fiber in the diet, which clears the digestive system and helps in the absorption of nutrients the food. Avoid trans fats, and limit the intake of junk food to not more than once a week.
2. HOLISTIC APPROACH
Childhood obesity requires a lot of patience and positive teamwork from the entire family. The parents should focus on changing the whole family’s healthy eating habits and increasing physical activity gradually so that the child doesn’t feel left out.
Plan family outings especially outdoors and enjoy activities like swimming, biking, playing a sport like soccer, baseball together. Reduce the T.V time or playing video games.
3. BE SUPPORTIVE
Talk to your child about his/her fears or concerns about their weight. A child’s feeling is a mirror image of their parents. Take time out to let your kids know that you accept your child at any weight & that you are there to help him/her to lose the extra kilos together. Parent’s positive attitude makes the children feel good about themselves & they get motivated to reach the set target.
The idea of encouraging these positive change early in a child’s life is to make sure our children have a long, healthy & active life ahead.
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