Obesity in Children:
We all must have come across those chubby babies or kids who is adored by everyone in the family and even outside. Yes, a chubby child will surely get you compliments from family and friends, but the baby fat can be really scary if your kid is going to grow up with it. Today, childhood obesity is emerging as one of the most common chronic conditions. After a lot of research, Paediatricians and obesity specialists say that such children grow up with low self-esteem and other health problems. Recent estimates also suggest that one in every six children across the country is overweight and almost a third of the nation’s children are at a risk of becoming overweight.
What promotes obesity?
There are many reasons to answer this question. One unchangeable possible reason could be-Genes! Yes, you could blame it on the genes. But looking at the current scenario, carrying an unhealthy gene does not make much of a difference as much as faulty food habits do. Hence, apart from hereditary and genetic factors, television commercials promoting unhealthy foods and eating habits is a plausible promoter of childhood obesity. Television, the powerful medium that it is, makes a great impact on children’s minds. Programmes watched by children are made appealing with advertisements which can cause changes in their behavioral and eating patterns.
How does obesity affect kids?
Children with obesity are at a risk of facing multiple problems during the paediatric age. In many cases, childhood obesity also translates into obesity in adults. Unless weight loss strategies are adopted, children with obesity are vulnerable to conditions such as heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep disorders and in many cases, even behavioral problems. Hence, it becomes very crucial to be in the healthy weight range starting from childhood.
The problems faced by obese kids are not merely physical. These children are often labelled as lazy or unintelligent and are bullied by their peers. They grow up as adolescents with low self-esteem and are often ridiculed and not accepted among others. In the present scenario it is a challenge to be in good shape and be fit. Parents of such kids must understand and be aware of the overall impact of obesity in their child. It is very important to take control of this situation at the family level itself. This is necessary to ensure a healthy future for the children.
How to Encourage healthy habits among children?
It is always a good idea to eat together as a family and at the same time make your children aware of the nutritional benefits of that they are eating.
- Making food colourful is one way to attract children. They enjoy selecting food what looks bright. Colourful fruits and vegetables catch their attention and tempts them to choose it.
- Keep healthy snacks on the table, it should be easily available to them when they feel hungry.
- Cook those dishes at home and pack different varieties of food daily so that they are not tempted to eat outside food. Understanding their food preferences will be of a great help.
- Encourage your children to play sports or ride a bicycle outside with friends. Avoid too much of television or playing of video games.
- Instead of buying food from outside, choose to cook healthy food at home. Since its holiday time for them, try to involve children in cooking, they will enjoy it totally. This will also give them a chance for learn about healthy eating habits.
- Do not miss on any chance to educate your child about healthy eating habits and staying fit & healthy.
Along with following healthy eating, it is also very important to make changes in lifestyle too. Encourage exercise regularly and discourage sedentary lifestyle. Avoiding excessive use of internet and video games, taking control of eating habits and decreasing the intake of junk food can surely help combat the growing problems of childhood obesity. It is going to be tough for the kid as well as the parent but the problem needs to be nipped in the bud. It is never too late to start healthy living.