Childhood obesity has reached pandemic status in the entire world. In India, approximately 30 million people are obese and the number is increasing at alarming rate. So is increasing the rate of childhood obesity in India and needs proper attention to help you battle the ailment in a more precise way. This illness has become so common among small children that, now it has turned into a significant concern for the doctors and child specialists.
So let us understand first :
What is childhood obesity?
What is the difference between overweight and obesity?
What causes it?
What are the signs of childhood obesity?
What is obesity?
Every individual must have his/her weight proportionate to height. There are some children and teenagers who seem to gain extra weight and store fat in their body. At the point when the measure of fat surpasses the typical levels, a child is said to be an obese.
Difference between overweight and obesity.
In simple words, a BMI(Body Mass Index) of 30 or more is classified as obese and 25-29.9 is overweight. BMI is a number calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by his or her height in meters squared.
Causes of childhood obesity.
Ideally there are following factors of childhood obesity:
1. Genetic factors
Child of an obese parent may be obese as obesity may tend to run in the family.
2. Dietary habits
Simply speaking, it’s the imbalance in the eating habits ranging from overfeeding in early days of a kid, consumption of junk food and eating without hunger.
3. Lack of physical activity
With advancement in technology, more and more kids are interested in playing video games and not on the fields. This lack of physical activity stands out as a reason of overweight.
4. Medical Conditions, Medications and Stress
There are some medical conditions like hormone imbalance which cause obesity. Then there are some medications which cause overweight. It has also been noticed that stress which may be caused due to pressure of exams, family problems, or any other issues can also cause obesity in children.
Signs of obesity in your child
As parents we should become cautious when our child is:
· Becoming Overweight – An important parenting advice is that not every child who is gaining weight becomes an obese. Different kids could have different growth rates, and depending on the family health background and daily activities. Your child’s BMI reading can indicate if he is just overweight or turning obese.
· Facing Health related issues – A noteworthy parenting tip to find out if your kid is obese or not, is to look for signs of health issues. For example, a rise or a drop in blood pressure, abnormal eating habits, mental problems like depression, stress, etc. All these reasons may act as initial signs and symptoms of obesity.
· Leading an Unhealthy lifestyle – One of the best tips to battle childhood obesity is to take care of the unhealthy lifestyle of your child. It’s a major sign in most of the obese that they lead an unsystematic life.
So, How to prevent obesity in children?
Healthy lifestyle– The simplest of tips to fight childhood obesity is to lead a happy and healthy life. More often it is seen due to overwork pressure, mental anxieties, family problems; a child starts suffering from stress and may start suffering from insomnia and mood swings. A stress-free yet disciplined life of parents inculcates the same in children. Unwanted pressure and expectation of parents wanting their child to score highest in exams or rank first in any extra-curricular activities, every time, stresses a child and may make him prone to obesity.
Food habits-A vital parenting advice for parents is to have strict food rule in their house. Make your child eat right food that’s rich in fibre, fruits and vegetables. A balanced-diet is always recommended. Cut out the oil portion and replace them with baked alternatives instead of spicy stuffs. Indulge your child into healthy diet plan like avoiding pre-prepared food, food with added sugar and junk food. Do not force feed your child by asking him clean the plate always or by offering him desserts as a reward for completing his meals. Remember, this way you are inviting childhood obesity.
Regular exercise– One of the best tips to cure obesity is by doing exercise on a regular basis. Any sort of physical activity, walking, cycling, jogging or even using the stairs or washing the floor, is also one kind of exercise, the motive is to burn your fat. One of the most beneficial parenting tips includes finding fun alternatives such as dancing or swimming or hiking, etc to make it a part of life. By regularly exercising children will burn the extra calories in their bodies. As parents, you should promote and facilitate physical activities, if required, be a participant with your child.
Fixed regime for watching TV or playing video games– Watching TV and playing video games kills physical movement in children making them prone to childhood obesity if continued for long hours. Parents should make sure their child follows a strict routine and should not spend most of their spare time watching television or playing video games.