Child Obesity – A Rising Concern of Modern World

Child obesity is a serious health problem which number is continuing to rise. Know the facts and figures of India Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism about Child Obesity.

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”. Obesity in children is a rising concern these days.According to Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 21.4 percent of boys and 18.5 percent of girls in urban India are either overweight or obese.Children of the age group of 4-17 years have been affected the most. Lack of awareness,sedentary lifestyle, poor stamina and weak immunity is a common phenomenon. This leads to a lot of health problems and increases more susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure,respiratory problems like asthma and various other lifestyle diseases at such a young age.

There was a time when children were so engrossed in playing outdoor sports that running throughout the day and weight issues were least thought of concern. With the advancement of technology,children prefer to choose gaming on mobile phones, laptops and computers. Sticking to television the whole dayand munching large food portionsis their favorite pass-time. Advertisements on television attract this young population with unhealthy food choices which are energy dense, sugar dense and have no nutrition at all.

In schools, the maximum focus is on academics, whereasextracurricular activities and sports are given least priority.Lack of awareness about nutritional importance at home also worsens the matter. All this curtails the desired physical activity resulting in uncontrolled weight gain. Obese kids may become obese adults and face a lot of criticism from society as well as peers. They are most likely to suffer from depression, behavioral and psychological problems which are hardto deal with.

Creating awareness regarding nutrition is the key in solving this problem. Parents need to be educated to pick and select healthy food choices for their kids. They should promote their child to engage in outdoor sports, use bicycles to school, take stairs wherever possible and walking to improve their stamina. One hour of play outside the house in the evening should be made mandatory. Eating in front of television should be discouraged.

Children spend a great amount of time at school. Thus school plays a major role in inculcating healthy food habits. Increased physical activity time in school and regular sports competitions, encourages the child in a playful manner. Interactive sessions of health professionals, dietitian/nutritionists and multimedia can help impart nutritional knowledge, importance of balanced diet, harmful effects of junk food and related health problems. This gives a better understanding in the child’s mind thereby promoting better decision making and positive self-esteem for healthy eating behavior. Last but not the least, it important to engage them in some kind of exercise daily and for that elders in the family will have to take little initiative of waking up on time and exercise, not the rigorous ones but some beneficial yoga asanas for overall health of mind and body can do wonders if done regularly.

These sessions help a great deal in motivating the child to make healthy food choices and also make them understand the benefits of making such healthy choices. Small little steps in the right direction can encourage the child to choose a healthy lifestyle on their own. Remember the golden rule “Your child will follow your example, not your advice”.

About The Author

Nidhi Kumar

Nidhi Kumar is a dietitian at Max Hospital and Vibes Pvt Ltd, New Delhi. She also runs the diet clinics in Srinagar and Coimbatore. Nidhi has worked as Research Assistant at Sit.... Read More..

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