Childhood Obesity Prevention | Awareness
Childhood Obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges and affects more than 15% of the children. It is estimated that over 42 million children up to the age of 5 are overweight globally.
Overweight or obese children are at high risk of becoming overweight adults and more likely to develop non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, cancer, stroke, hypercholesterolemia and cardiovascular diseases later in life. They are also more prone to develop stress, sadness, and low self-esteem.
Not all children carrying extra pounds are overweight or obese. Some children have larger than average body frames and children normally carry different amounts of body fat at various stages of development. So you might not know just by looking at your child if weight is a health concern.
Cause of Childhood Obesity
Although the causes of childhood obesity are widespread, certain factors are major contributors to this epidemic. The major causesare:
- Lack of Physical Activity
- Heredity and Family
- Eating Fast Food
- Excessive Television Watching
- Intake of too much of Soda/Sports Drink
Today’s environment and lifestyle plays a major role in shaping the habits and perceptions of children and adolescents. The prevalence of television commercials promoting unhealthy foods and eating habits is a large contributor to childhood obesity.
Solution for Childhood Obesity
Treating obesity in children and adolescents differs from treatment in adults. Involving the family in child’s weight management program is a key element to treatment. You need to address multiple aspects of the child and the family’s lifestyle, nutrition and physical activity patterns.
The various treatments of obesity in children and adolescents include:
When shopping for food, choose fruits and vegetables and limit sweetened beverages and fast food. Sit down together for family meals and make it an event to share stories and news of the day. Evensmall changes can make a big difference in your child’s health.
It is a critical part of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Allow your children to play outdoors for at least an hour. It burns calories, strengthens bones and muscles, and helps children sleep well at night and stay alert during the day.
- Limit TV and Recreational Computer Time
Time spent watching TV or using acomputer, smartphones or tablets is known as screen time. Parents need to look into this, limit screen use to 1 hour per day and let your children view only high-quality programs.
- Find Activities your Child Likes
Indulging your child in his/her favourite activities will help you in limiting the screen time. For instance, if your child is artistically inclined, go on a nature hike. If your child likes to climb, head for the nearest neighborhoodjungle gym or climbing wall.
Obesity is a chronic disorder that has multiple causes. Apparently, primary or secondary prevention could be the key plan for controlling the current epidemic of obesity and these strategies seem to be more effective in children than in adults. These strategies can be initiated at home and in preschool institutions, schools or after-school care services as anatural setting for influencing the diet and physical activity of your child.