Obesity has become a worldwide condition with India being the 3rd most obese country in the world. In our country, from a day a child is born, health parameters are set by the family. A heavy and chubby child is often considered to be healthy ignoring the fact that overweight infants can turn into obese adults. Parents need to understand that excessive fat content in the body is absolutely unhealthy. Increasing evidence shows several school kids are becoming a victim of this epidemic with the problem being witnessed among adults aged between 18 and 25. It is not difficult to control overweight issues in young kids through lifestyle changes, however in some cases these modifications may not work and medical recommendation is required. The success metrics of medicines on people who are moderately and morbidly obese is significantly low.
Sedentary lifestyle, junk foods, alcohol consumption are pushing kids towards self destruction. A healthy balanced diet has been replaced by junk foods disowning the fact that the latter contains high amounts of fats that are dangerous for their bodies. Doctors suggest it is best to control obesity at a young age by starting off with a healthier eating pattern so that it becomes easy to attain a healthy weight for years to come.
Once they begin to eat solid foods, it is best to provide them with healthy choices in appropriate portion sizes. A quality mealtime at both school and home teach children to eat independently and inculcate a healthy behaviour of eating until full and then stopping. Letting little ones to eat on their own even if it is messy allows them to understand their hunger cues and learn about how much to eat. It is usually noticed that people visit doctors only when it is too late or they have been consistently putting on weight without much change in lifestyle, then it is time to go for a detailed check up even when the person looks lean.
Preventing Childhood Obesity Through Physical Exercise
- Encouraging toddlers and preschoolers to engage in active play at home, day care or preschool. Parents, child care providers should make efforts to minimize sedentary time by limiting the use of swings, strollers, and bouncy seats. Basically, there is a need to ensure a child proofed area where he can play freely, letting him walk more on his own power instead of pushing using a stroller.
- Exercise is important for babies too: Give tummy time for non-crawlers, boost confidence in older babies and toddlers to crawl, cruise, walk, and climb.
- Communities should also work towards creating a safe and active place for small children that includes playground equipment, safe sidewalks for families to enjoy outdoors together.
At present, several people undergoing bariatric surgery are middle aged but since childhood obesity is increasing manifolds, there are chances that children can develop diseases like diabetes, hypertension, infertility, breast cancer at a young age.