Childhood obesity was once considered as the disease of affluent societies. The growing financial strength in the Indian subcontinent however has broken that myth. The new mall culture, and changing lifestyle has contributed heavily to this growing problem of obesity, such that even children are afflicted by this chronic condition. Studies show that there has been 45% increase in childhood obesity in the last one decade alone. Around 16% of India children are currently overweight and around 31% are at the risk of becoming obese.
Why is childhood obesity a scary condition? Doctors have identified the following conditions as the result of obesity: heart diseases, diabetes (Type 2), polycystic ovaries in girl children, asthma, sleeping disorders, social discrimination etc. to name only a few
What causes childhood obesity? Genetic factors play a role, but not entirely. Untimely food habits, binging on fried foods, skipping breakfast, lack of physical activity are some of the reasons for obesity in children. The fast-paced lifestyle that parents lead nowadays reflects on the child’s food habits. Burgers and chips for lunch contribute heavily towards obesity. Kids who exercise their mouths have no time to run out in the sun and play. Even games mean only on the computer only. Added to this, the burdening school workload. With no corresponding physical activities, children definitely add those extra kilos. This gets accentuated if parents too lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Sometimes medical conditions or certain medicines involving steroids cause obesity. If the mother had gestational diabetes, or became obese during pregnancy, the child is again at a risk for obesity.
How can we fight this condition?
First awareness should be created. In America, President Obama has declared the month of September as The Childhood Obesity Awareness month. In a fight such as this awareness is the most important weapon. With awareness comes knowledge, a potent tool, to fight and prevent this overpowering concern. Plump baby fat and chubby cheeks are not necessarily great and may be an indicator of an imminent obesity.
One simple thing parents can do is to ensure that you eat at least one meal with your kids everyday. This will help you monitor what goes into your child’s plate. Forget the tube and instead listen to what happened in your child’s school that day. You will form memories and your family will have a happy meal.
But, sitting together is not enough, if you are serving only fried papads and ghee-laden dishes. Try to include as much as fresh vegetables, whole grain products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and lentils in your family meals. You can even get the help of your children to plan a menu for the week.
Food is only one aspect of keeping your child’s weight under control. Your child needs good amount of running and exercising to fight obesity. Send him/her for sports coaching classes. Enroll them in a gym or better yet get a child friendly and fun exercise equipment at home. If your kids spend hours on computer games, buy the WII Fitness or Xbox Kinect instead, which can double as both gaming console and are an excellent fitness trainer. Naaptol.com has the Ninetendo Wii Fit at discounted price. For more discounts, shop through pennyful.in and gets discounts, rebates and cashback.