Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Childhood obesity is a medical condition that affects children and teenagers When children are off the healthy weight, their weight gain is disproportionate to their change in height, meaning the gain of body fat that can negatively impact his or her healthy development and health overall. If a child or adult stores too much fat they can be classified as overweight or obese.
CONSEQUENCES TO CHILDHOOD OBESITY
- Depressive symptoms
- Poor Body Image
- Low Self-Concept
- Risk for Eating Disorders
- Behavior and Learning Problems
- Insulin Resistance
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High Total and LDL Cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood
- Low HDL Cholesterol levels in the blood
- Sleep Apnea
- Early puberty
- Orthopedic problems
CAUSES TO CHILDHOOD OBESITY
- Food Choices – diets higher in calories (including fats and simple sugars) and lower in fruits and vegetables are linked with overweight
- Sedentary Activity – less physical activity and more time spent participating in activities such as watching television, using gadgets results in less energy expenditure
- Parental Obesity – children of obese parents are more likely to be overweight themselves. There is an inherited component to childhood overweight that makes it easier for some children to become overweight than others.. Parental obesity may also reflect a family environment that promotes excess eating and insufficient activity.
- Eating Patterns – skipping meals or failure to maintain a regular eating schedule can result in increased intakes when food is eaten.
- Diabetes during pregnancy – overweight and type 2 diabetes occur with greater frequency in the offspring of diabetic mothers (who are also more likely to be obese)
- Low Birth Weight – Low birth weight (<2500 g) is a risk factor for overweight in several epidemiological studies.
- Excessive weight gain during pregnancy – Several studies have shown that excessive maternal weight gain during pregnancy is associated with increased birth weight and overweight later in life.
- Parental Eating and Physical Activity Habits – Parents with poor nutritional habits and who lead sedentary lifestyles role model these behaviors for their children, thereby creating an “obesigenic” home environment.
- Lack of information: have a lack of information that what is good to eat and what can be there health effects and there sound approaches to nutrition
HOW TO TACKLE THE SOLUTION?
Encourage healthy eating habits. Small changes can lead to a recipe for success!
- Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products.
- Include low-fat milk or dairy products.
- Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans for protein.
- Serve reasonably sized portions.
- Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
- Limit sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar, sodium and saturated fat.
Make favourite dishes healthier. Some of your favourite recipes can be healthier with a few changes, so that child can get taste as well as required nutrients for there body
Remove calorie-rich temptations. Treats are OK in moderation, but limiting high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks can also help your children develop healthy eating habits.
Help your kids understand the benefits of being physically active. Teach them that physical activity has great health benefits like:
- Strengthening bone
- Decreasing blood pressure
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Increasing self-esteem
- Helping with weight management
- Increasing height
Help kids stay active.
Children and teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week, and every day if possible. You can set a great example! Start adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you. Some examples of moderate-intensity physical activity include:
- Brisk walking
- Playing their favorite sports
- Jumping rope
- Playing soccer
Reduce sedentary time. Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit “screen time” (TV, video games, Internet) to no more than two hours a day. Encourage your children to find fun activities to do with family members or on their own that simply involve more activity.
So that children can adopt these healthy behaviours as a lifelong practice and have a healthy life. This will lead to a nationwide healthy future for the kids.