Most recent data all over the world has shown that obesity in children/adolescents has increased manifold over the last decade.
The International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) and International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) estimate that 200 million school children are either overweight or obese.
WHY IS CHILDHOOD OBESITY SUCH A CONCERN FOR ME ?
It is true that children have fewer weight related health and medical problems, but they are going to be adults.
Obese children become Obese adolescents and Obese Adults
This places them in the bracket of high risk for developing diseases associated with obesity, eg. diabetes, hypertension.
Also, it can lead to –Poor Self Esteem, Depression.
So “A Stitch In Time Saves Nine”.
How Do I Know That My Child Is Obese ?
The person who can diagnose this is your Doctor.
It is fair to say that all overweight children are not Obese.
How Will My Physician Say That My Child Is Obese?
- Calculates your child’s BMI(Body Mass Index)
- Determines where it falls on the BMI-for-age growth chart.
- The BMI helps indicate if your child is overweight for his or her age and height.
In addition to BMI and charting weight on the growth charts, the doctor evaluates:
- Your family’s history of obesity and weight-related health problems, such as diabetes
- Your child’s eating habits
- Your child’s activity level
- Other health conditions your child may have.
With All This Data the Doctors plots it on a Growth Chart to see where your child features as compared to other children(BMI)
- the >85thpercentile for overweight.
- > 95th percentile for obesity.
These have been derived from the data from National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
What Causes Children To Become Obese?
- Too Little Activity
- Too Many calories from junk food.
Many Genetic and Hormonal Factors Also contribute to your child’s Obesity.
Other Factors like Socioeconomic status, Psychological factors also play a contributory role.
If My Child Is Obese, How Can I Help?
Children’s feelings about themselves often are based on their parents’ feelings about them. So, be patient and
- Be Supportive To The Child.
- Involve the entire family in the effort
- Do not set apart the child due to weight problem.
- Listen to the child and hear his side of the story too.
- Reduce the Screen time .
- Inculcate walking habit into the family routine.
- Try to make the Physical Activity time interesting and rewarding.
- Avoid weight talk.
Change the Eating Habits Of The Family
The eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.
- Lead by example. Eat healthy, nutritious food yourself so that everybody notices.
- Make healthy food available around the house.
- Encourage your child to chew their food well and eat slowly.
- Never allow eating food in front of the television.
- Try to eat at least one meal together as a family.
- Snacks should be factored into the maeals of the kids.
- Cut down on the FAT intake without restricting the diet.
How Can I Cut Down On The Fat Intake?
To achieve that You simply include the following thing in your diet
- Low-fat dairy Products
- White of a boiled egg.
- Sugar free Juices.
- Multi-grain breads
- Poultry without skin
Remember the cardinal rule – No Restrictive Diet For Growing Children