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Obesity in children is considered to be an epidemic today. In our country, at one end we have starving kids dying due to infections, diarrhoea, etc and at the other, obese kids causing early morbidity in the form of Hypertension, Diabetes, Fatty liver, etc increasing the health burden on the country.
Does obesity genes run in families?
It is not uncommon to find obese families blame their genes as the cause of obesity, the truth being inactivity and faulty diet is consumed by the whole family.
What are the causes of obesity in children?
Portion size has also increased over the years
Lack of inadequate activity has also contributed significantly to obesity, causes being:
Few chances for overweight youth to participate in sports
Many local fast-food restaurants
Lack of sidewalks
Lack of inexpensive and accessible places for low-income youth to be active.
the pressure to get into professional colleges
emphasis on scholastic achievement only
Faulty eating practices like
Eating away from home
Skipping meals and mainly missing breakfast
Over 90% eat snacks
Fast foods: high in fat, sugar and sodium
Lack of understanding of the bodily need for nourishment
Unwillingness to eat with family members
Eating only in the latter part of the day after starvation in the early part
Lack of controlling their food intake
Eating rapidly and indiscriminately
High screen time
What is screen time and what are its recommendations?
With the technology getting advanced, the average screen time of children is also increasing. Screen time is no longer just TV watching but also the time spent by children on computers, IPads, video games and mobiles. On average adolescents spend about 5-6 hours on the screen which is about five times the recommended screen time. Dr. Vaishakhi Rustagi, Consultant, Max Super Specialty Shalimar Bagh says, for each hour of television view prevalence of obesity increases by 2% in children.
What are the complications related to obesity in children?
If weight loss has not been achieved by late adolescence, only 5% of obese adolescents will lose weight successfully by adulthood. Hence it is important to address obesity early as possible to avoid the following consequences: