Child Obesity: A major concern for younger generation

Child Obesity: A major concern for younger generation

India ranks second in the world with 14.4 million cases of obese children.  According to a Lancet report published recently, as many as 34% of the country’s population is insufficiently physically active, as a result there are more cases of obesity. For a long time now, India has faced the challenge of poor nutrition in both women and children, but the challenges such as being overweight and child obesity have become a growing concern in the nation.

 

 

India has a paradox of mal-nourishment as well as morbid obesity. Being overweight and being obese can be defined differently in both children and adults, as the amount of body fat changes with age and body conditions. Overweight children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults, placing them at risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes later in life Dr. Sanjay Borude, Bariatric Surgeon, Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai shares important facts about this issue.

 

 

 

Causes:

A few of the important contributors of child obesity are the lack of knowledge of calories, and lifestyle habits. However, genetics and hormones also play a vital role.

 

 

Regular intake of high-calorie foods such as fast foods, vending machine snacks, candy, desserts, sugary/ carbonated drinks which include canned fruit juices can lead to obesity in children. The children who do not exercise regularly gain weight much faster as they do not burn enough calories.

 

 

Moreover, if your family has a history of overweight people then your child is more likely to be overweight or obese. On the other hand family, parental, personal stress can also play a major role to increase the risk of obesity in children.

 

 

Prevention:

  • Parents, Care givers, Teachers, Government authorities all play a vital role in helping children to develop healthy habits. Small, achievable, and realistic changes are recommended for long-term success.

 

  • Pay attention to portion sizes – use smaller plates.

 

  • Avoid using food to stimulate or reward good behaviour.

 

  • Ensure the child gets enough sleep, between 9 to 14 hours is recommended, depending on the age.

 

  • Promote healthy eating: provide balanced lunches and nutritious snacks.

 

  • Provide access to free drinking water.

 

  • Provide daily and mandatory physical education.

 

  • Make playgrounds available and accessible

 

  • Put focus on health education within the classroom. Include interactive activities, like cookery classes, teach children about nutrition and healthy food options.