Health Tip Details

CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Child Nutrition

CHILDHOOD OBESITY - SHAPING THE FUTURE

Dt. Rukhsana Syed 12 May 2019 78 Views

As a parent, you will not find anything cuter than the chubby-cheeks of your toddler, and therefore, you end up overfeeding your children out of love and affection. You fail to understand that your young one who was once chubby and adorable isn’t losing his baby fat and is now growing obese too! For some children, however, that adorable baby fat may turn into a major health concern. Most of our children, according to many studies – are overweight.

We, as parents are allowing this to happen by encouraging our kids to consume more calories, more sugar, more fat, more refined foods in some way or the other. At the same time, we are enabling a more sedentary lifestyle by always giving them electronic devices such as phones, television, tabs, video games to just keep them busy without understanding its hazardous side effects on our little ones. Running, jumping, skipping, dancing, biking etc are activities which are children no longer indulge in.

 Today’s children simply don’t want to move as much as we once did, making it that much harder to shed off that extra weight. Those extra pounds put your kids at the risk of developing many serious health issues.

Childhood obesity is a serious health threat to children.

What actually the word “OBESITY” means?

Obesity has been defined by the World Health Organisation as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.

Let’s have a look on the causes for obesity:

  1. DIET Today children prefer junk food over traditional home-cooked food. Regularly consuming high-calorie fast foods like pizza, pasta, French fries, burgers, waffles, cookies, soft drinks, fruit juices, which can easily cause your child to gain weight. Studies show that instant and ready to eat noodles carries high amount of sodium, calories and fat with a lower intake of protein, vitamins and minerals resulting in obesity, constipation, high blood pressure, mood swings etc.
  2. FRENCH FRIES / CHIPS These are particularly rich in trans fats and saturated fats. Acrylamide, a substance found in French fries and potato chips has the potential to cause cancer in humans.
  3. LACK OF EXERCISE -  Nowadays kids no longer have interest in spending their time playing outside, because they love spending more of their leisure time watching TV, playing video games, and sitting with their phones and laptops due to which they gain weight easily.
  4. GENETICS - Our genes help determine body type and how the body stores and burns fat. But genes alone can't explain the current obesity crisis.
  5. FAMILY FACTORS - If your child comes from a family of overweight people, he or she may be more likely to put on weight. This is especially true in an environment where high-calorie foods are always available and physical activity isn't encouraged. Nowadays ordering foods from outside have become everyday pattern in most of the families which ultimately leads your child to gain weight easily.
  6. PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS - Some children overeat to cope with problems or to deal with emotions, such as stress, anxiety, bullying or to fight boredom. Their parents might have similar tendencies.

What could be the complications or the consequences that the child will have to face in his life?

CONSEQUENCES OF OBESITY:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Elevated blood cholesterol
  • Liver and gallbladder disorders
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Respiratory problems such as asthma and breathlessness
  • Sleep disorders such as difficulty breathing while asleep (sleep apnea)
  • Hormonal disturbances
  • PCOS/PCOD in girls
  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Skin problems like acne, eczema, dry and dull skin

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

Do’s:

BE A ROLE MODEL TO THEM

“KIDS MIMIC WHAT WE EAT AND WHAT WE DO, NOT WHAT WE SAY!! YOUR ACTIONS AND CHOICES MATTERS’’

  • Plan your shopping list with your child to buy healthy and nutritious foods.
  • Give your child nutritious and interesting tiffin such as oats pancakes, ragi pancakes, oats idli, moong dal chilla, nutritious chilla, dalia upma, vermicilli upma, etc. (visit our website for these recipes:- https://belezzafitness.com/diet-recipes/breakfast-snacks-salads-and-dips/snacks-and-dips/nutritious-snacks)
  • Make meal and snack times calm, relaxed and fun for your child. Turn the television off and have your child sit at the table to eat. It is a good idea to eat meals and snacks with your child and interact with him.
  • Keep healthy snacks available by placing them on low shelves in the fridge or in the cabinets so your children can reach them when hungry. Keep bowls of washed grapes and snow peas, cut cantaloupe and sliced veggies at eyelevel when your child opens the refrigerator.
  • Give plenty of calcium and iron rich foods like milk, curd, buttermilk, nuts and ragi to achieve high peak bone mass.
  • Some kids do not eat cooked veggies but enjoy them in their raw form. Try giving them vegetables in the form of salads, sprouts salads, bhel and vegetables chaat etc.
  • Water should be given in adequate amount with lots of coconut water, lemon water, aam panna, buttermilk, sattu etc
  • Get them enrolled in sports classes they like. Children should get 60-90 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day.
  • Limit screen time.  Discourage too much of computer, phones or video games.
  • Gift them fitness-oriented items like skipping rope, mini trampoline, exercise bike, football, membership of a sports club keeping their skills and interests in mind.

Don’t’s:

  • Never use meal times to criticize his/her behaviour.
  • Never allow them to leave home without a good breakfast. Breakfast is considered to be the main meal of the day to start with. Good breakfast helps in attention span, good social behaviour and prevents bingeing
  • Television advertisements can encourage unhealthy junk food cravings in your children. Restrict television viewing and explain to your children that these foods can harm their body if consumed regularly
  • As the child has more access to money and food outlets at schools and near home, they can try the popularly advertised junk food by themselves. So, give limited amount of money and provide interesting tiffin from home.
  • Do not allow your child to eat out in school canteen regularly.
  • Cut out Cola: Sodium benzoate and phosphoric acid found in soft drinks can cause serious damage to the DNA in the mitochondria. Caffeine in colas is diuretic. Phosphoric acid in soda may even contribute to bone loss by changing the acid balance in the blood.
  • Do not offer food as a reward. This teaches your child to eat for reasons other than being hungry. Offer other rewards such as stickers, a special toy, or a special activity.
  • Don't completely ban all sweets and favourite snacks. Kids may rebel and overeat forbidden foods outside the home or sneak them in on their own. Serve healthy foods most of the time and offer treats once in a while.

Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and lead a stress-free life as children copy what they see and they will follow your example more than your advice.!