In today’s world of easy access to fast foods and eating outside on the rise, along with peer pressure, and innumerable TV ads, childhood obesity is on the rise. An estimate of 22 million children in the world is obese and in Indian private schools, the percentage has increased recently from 11.6% to 17%!!! Whereas 16% children are overweight!
This number is by itself alarming and being overweight/obese is on the rise! If we do not take measures now, this will lead to innumerable complications in their young lives! These children do not realise the gravity of what is happening to them.
Let’s first understand what the causes of such weight gain are:
2.No or very less physical activity, which happens because of sitting more in front of the TV or computer, playing sedentary games.
3.Poor eating habits- consumption of high energy, nutrient poor foods which are high in simple sugar and unhealthy fats.
4.Family habits- if the adults in the family are eating junk food or if unhealthy products are lying all over the house, it is not the child’s fault to give in to such temptation. A family has to set good examples for the child to follow.
Many diseases follow overweight or obese individuals—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart problems, diabetes , gall bladder diseases, joint problems, bone and cartilage degeneration, respiratory problems, early puberty, infertility and cancer in future, sleep disturbances--- and all these could start in the 20’s!
It isn’t so difficult to stop this endemic from spreading. A little awareness is all it takes. We should be aiming at having a healthy body rather than just plain weight loss for these kids.
Limit the TV/computer viewing hours to 1-2 in a day.
Let them take part in any physical game like basketball, tennis, cycling and swimming etc. for an hour a day.
Restrict intake of food from outside and colas.
Involve them in menu planning, buying grocery and cooking.
Fruits should be served in appetising manner inbetween meals.
Make them aware of the difference between what food is good and what isn’t. The difference between healthy foods and junk foods.
Make them understand the concept of balance diet.
They should be made aware of the different nutrients and their functions in our body.
A lot of so-called junk food can be made at home in a healthier way so that they enjoy what they want to eat.
A family should eat together. It helps in bonding and healthy eating.
A healthy breakfast is a must.
All these things are simple to do and can go a long way to make life healthy and happy!
Tags : Women, kids, obesity, fat, flab