Obesity in children and teenagers is now a global pandemic. In the United States alone, one in every three children suffers from this debilitating condition. By definition, childhood obesity is a condition by which there is excess body fat. It is also identified as excess weight that which is disproportionate to the age and height of a child.
Unhealthy food intake and new-age habits of children are the top causes of childhood obesity. Instead of eating vegetables and fruits, children are now more accustomed to eating instant meals and junk foods. Food items that are high in salt, fat, and sugar content is easily accessible among children, thus making them more likely to purchase unhealthy foods than eat healthy and nutritious home cooked meals.
Low physical activity & gadgets addiction
The activities that children and teenagers are engrossed with during the past few years have largely contributed to the alarming rate of childhood obesity on a global scale. Instead of going outside to play with other children, most kids can now be seen in front of television sets, desktop computers, and gaming consoles. Technology, in part, has made the children of today less active, thus making them more prone to weight gain. Lack of physical activity is the second most common reason for childhood obesity.
In addition, the busy lifestyle and schedule that most parents adhere to are also reasons why many kids are becoming overweight and obese in recent years. Instead of cooking healthy foods at home, parents tend to purchase easy to cook and convenient meals in fast food chains and restaurants due to long hours at work.
With all of these in mind it is safe to say that childhood obesity is caused by a variety of factors. The good news is that you can still prevent your children from gaining too much weight. Health education and basic nutrition will point you towards the right direction. Childhood obesity is undoubtedly a preventable condition, follow these steps and help your kids improve their health and enhance their sense of well-being as well!
4 points to keep in mind
- Once a diet plan is formulated by a pediatrician or dietitian, the best you can do is help your child go through with the diet and health plan. Be a supportive parent rather than one who is critical of your child’s action. In this way, your child will be more motivated to follow the meal plans and exercises provided in his weight loss plan.
- As mentioned earlier, childhood obesity is a preventable condition. The first thing that you need to do as a parent is to seek the help of a pediatrician. Determine if your child is really suffering from obesity. By doing so, you can then create a comprehensive health plan so your child can go back to his normal weight.
- Be a good example to you children. Most of the habits of children come from their tendency to follow what adults practice on a regular basis. If you eat unhealthy, your child will most likely pick that habit as well. Always make sure that they only pick up good lifestyle and eating habits, so they don’t end up gaining weight as they grow older.
- Communicate with your child and encourage them to express their feelings. Therapeutic communication goes a long way among children who suffer from obesity. By identifying their personal thoughts and emotions of their condition, you will be able to help them further by coming up with more effective measures on how they can cope up with obesity.
The involvement of the entire family will greatly contribute to the success of a child in battling obesity. Foster positivity and show that you are behind your child until he attains normal weight and increased self confidence.
Sheetal Sharma, Msc. ‘Applied Nutrition’ is the medical editor & co-founder of HealthBuzzPortal. Being a Yoga enthusiasts she likes exploring alternative remedies.