Understanding Childhood Obesity And Ways To Prevent It

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According to World Health Organization, 22% of Indian children and teens are overweight or obese. There are various genetic, dietary, environmental, economical and social factors that contribute to childhood obesity. Struggling through their transition phase from childhood to adulthood, kids undergo mixed emotions and pressures that cause behavioral changes and altered eating patterns. The most worrisome fact is that majority of these overweight kids grow up to become obese adults.

So, How Do You Know If Your Child Is Overweight/ Obese?

Mostly, it is self detectable however, not all children who carry extra weight can be termed as overweight or obese. BMI calculators for children are age and gender specific and are available online. You can talk to your child’s pediatrician who can calculate and interpret your child’s BMI. If your child is 10 to 15 kg overweight, you must consult a doctor for evaluation.

How Can Obesity Harm Your Child?

-Obesity at young age can lead to life altering health problems both physically and mentally.

-Obesity severely increases the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes (especially if there is a family history), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleeping disorders and shortness of breath.

-Obesity gives a major blow to the child’s self confidence, self esteem and body image which can be responsible for developing psychological issues like anxiety disorders and even depression.

What Can You Do About Your Child’s Increasing Weight?

Here are some ways by which you can ensure that your child follows a healthy and active lifestyle:

1 . Lead By Example

Your children will follow your example more than your advice so there is no other way out but to practice before you preach good and healthy lifestyle habits. If the children notice the importance that is given to healthy eating habits and physical activity in the house, they are sure to follow that.

2 . Cook Healthy

You will have to be a bit innovative with your skills in the kitchen. All high calorie finger licking junk food available outside can be thought over and made at home with alternative healthier low calorie ingredients. For instance, opt for whole wheat pastas, burger buns, pizza bases and make them at home with lots of veggies tossed in that will make them want to give the junk foods a miss.

3 . Involve Them In Sports/Outdoor Activities

Ensure that your child spends 30-45 minutes doing an outdoor activity after school. Anything that keeps him/her active like running, playing frisbee, cycling, swimming, football, tennis or any sport he/she is fond of. You can plan for the week and include a fun filled mix of activities for the whole week so that they don’t get bored.

4 . Cut Down Gadget Time

When your child is indoors, ensure that he/she is as mobile as possible. Don’t make him/her get into the habit to lying down and watching TV shows for hours together. This can be very detrimental to your child’s health and lead to obesity.Make sure that your child stays as much away from TV, laptops, tabs and other electronic gadgets as much is possible. If your child is already addicted to watching TV, give him/her a specific time slot of an hour and turn the TV off past that time.Encourage him/her to help you with daily chores, or engage him/her in book reading, painting or writing activities.

5 . Limit Eating Out

Plan your weekends such that you have your major meals at home and have just snacks outside. Restrict getting any sweetened beverages, high calorie fatty food from outside and practice portion control.

6 . Cater To Their Emotional Needs

Many children resort to binge eating as an escape phenomenon to an inner struggle that they are unable to cope with or due to unhealthy relationships between family members. Understand your child’s emotional needs and address to his/her fears, apprehensions or shortcomings. The more you befriend your child, the less likely is he/she to resort to comfort eating.

With children and teens spending equal time at home and school/ college, it is pivotal to ensure that they are not ‘all work and no play’ there. Whilst keeping a tab on your child’s weight is quite a demanding job, it is of paramount importance for their healthy life in the longer run. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy with 1mg, India’s best online pharmacy!

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