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Childhood Obesity & its prevention

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Childhood Obesity & its prevention

What is Childhood obesity ?

Childhood obesity is a medical condition where a child is above the normal weight for his or her age and height. It has negative effects on the overall the health and well being of children and adolescents.

Know the various health risks involved in overweight or obese children

Overweight or obese children are more likely to have:

        • High blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases
        • Increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
        • Breathing problems, such as sleep apnoea, and asthma
        • Bone & Joint problems
        • Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn)

Emotional risks may involve:

            • Social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem
            • Low self esteem and bullying
            • Behaviour and learning problems: Obesity in children leads to anxiety and poor social skills. It may cause overweight children to socially withdraw and may even affect their learning.
            • Depression: Low esteem can cause feeling of hopelessness to creep in and children might go into depression and become emotionally flat.

Prevention

Measures should be taken proactively at an early stage to prevent your child becoming inactive and thus overweight.

                • Always encourage physical activity and outdoor games rather than indoor games
                • Emphasize on healthy eating habits. Prefer low calories food, vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy foods, and whole grains. Family's participation in inculcating healthy eating habit are crucial as children learn what they see.
                • Know the Body Mass Index (BMI) of your child and periodically monitor it to prevent the child getting overweight or obese