Obesity is common in adults as well as kids too. When the child is overweight in comparison to his mates of the same age he is called obese. Obesity is a disease in itself. It also leads to other severe health issues such as heart disorders, blood pressure, joints pain, swelling on body parts, diabetes, etc and also targets the kids in terms of self-esteem issues. September 2019 is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Obesity is also not good for the emotional well-being of the kids. So lets us know the possible reasons and the tips to curb childhood obesity.
HOW OBESITY HAS BECOME AN EPIDEMIC
In the U.S itself obesity is the cause of severe health issues in kids. Obesity is the cause of other ailments and major health issues such as type-2 diabetes, heart problems, stroke, and other such diseases. According to a study, 1 out of 5 kids in the U.S are obese. In 2014-15 the rate of obesity was 23.7% while in 2016-17 this increased to 37% and still increasing. This is an alarming sign. The rate of obesity has increased to 40% in the past 15 years which is a cause of concern. Let us have a look at the possible causes of obesity in kids.
Possible reasons for obesity
Let us have a look at the factors or the reasons behind the obesity issues in kids. A list of such causes is as follows-
a)It can be genetic-If the parents or grandparents are obese there are more chances of the kid to be obese. That can be a heredity factor. Even if you try to control diet or indulge in more physical activity the weight is still the same.
b)Unhealthy lifestyle-The other possible reason for the child to be obese is an unhealthy routine and lifestyle. These days the processed foods and carbonated drinks are easily available which is full of more calories, artificial colors, and flavors and full of fats and calories. Consumption of these food items and beverages are the other reasons for obesity.
c)Television is the major culprit-According to a study if the kid is eating while watching tv, he/she eats 25% more. They do not pay heed to how much they have eaten and eat more quantity which as a result leads to overeating and thus leads to putting on more weight.
d)Lack of physical activity-Obesity is burning fewer calories in comparison to the calories the kid consumes. The reason is that he/she is a couch potato, sitting idle, not playing outdoors in the sun and does not sweat. Playing outdoors leads to healthy hormones in the body. The primary reason behind the kids’ obesity is not indulging in 60-90 minutes of physical activity.
How obesity leads to low self-esteem and behavioral issues or the implications of childhood obesity-
Body fat talk directly affects the self-esteem of the kids. If someone tells the kid “U r obese so you are filthy” it directly affects the kid’s emotional indulgence. Besides the problem of bullying of overweight kids is also common. The fear of social rejection is one of the behavioral problems which the kids face as being obese or over-weight.
SIMPLE STEPS TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM-
1)Offer healthy food options-Promote healthy eating habits among kids. Make sure they eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fibers and a wholesome healthy diet full of nutrients. Avoid or limit junk food and packaged juices. Give them food with less saturated fats and limit the consumption of fried food too. Encourage them to consume healthy beverages items such as lemon water, fresh fruit juice, etc.
2)Encourage low-fat food and limit high sugar products-Make sure the kids consume low-fat dairy products. Sugar intake must also be less. Instead, start using sugar-free options and stevia.
3)Take care of the quantity-Make sure the kid eats the right quantity at the right time and the food in balanced proportions. Meal timings must also be properly screened. Proper meals at the right timings are the key to manage prompt weight.
4)Less screen time-As I said earlier tv is the culprit. Fix the tv watching hours and no food no tv policy. Do not serve any snack while watching tv as this is the main reason for kids obesity. Limit the screen timings too.
5)Promote physical activity-Its necessary to burn the calories that he/she consumes. Let them play outdoor games and join some sports of their choice. At home also promote jumping, rope skipping, jogging, cycling, push-ups, pull-ups, gymnastics, yoga and other such physical activities.60-90 minutes of physical games and exercises are a must for balanced growth. They can join some dance classes too in their extra time.
PARENTS AND SOCIETY CAN PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN SOLVING CHILD OBESITY PROBLEM-
As this problem is getting grave day-by-day. It is the responsibility of the parents as well as the community to curb childhood obesity issues. Now I am going to throw light on how the society, as well as parents, can play a vital role in solving this problem or epidemic.
WHAT YOU CAN DO AS A PARENT-Home is the very first teacher of the kid. If your child is over-weight do not forget to follow the following tips-
1)Do not over pamper the child. Mostly moms force their kids to eat more even if their stomach is full. Stop this habit.
2)As a parent make sure that your child does not become a couch potato. Their excess fats and calories need to be burnt by engaging them in some sports, physical activity and yoga classes.
3)Make your kids conscious about this problem. Like if they are consuming candies how much is their sugar intake. Become a facilitator and tell the kid he can be fit and active if he/she will curb some calories.
4)Do not put an immediate ban on things. If the kid is watching more tv while eating or if he/she is eating more junk food make sure you curb these bad habits slowly. Never try to be a Hitler. Belittle strict with the routine.
5)Take care of a healthy lifestyle, good eating habits, proper sleep schedule. This is the very first step in curbing obesity in kids.
6)Take it as a mission. Take care of petty things. Have some patience. Things take time but are not impossible.
WHAT THE COMMUNITY OR SOCIETY CAN DO?
The community can play a pivotal role in curbing this epidemic. Some positive steps can be-
A)Complete No to body shaming must be encouraged. In schools and other public settings, there must be no talk on body fat. Communities need to take strict actions against the defaulters.
B)Unhealthy foods and junk foods must not be allowed in schools.
C)There must be strict policies and regulations against bullying and body shaming based on weight.
The sum and substance are together we can and we will find the solution to this serious problem which is taking the lives of our kids and the cause of many serious ailments. Just be a little conscious, find out the right causes of the problem and start to find the solutions. Thanks for reading. Have a good day.
Sunita Panwar(Neetu) is living in Noida. She did her BBA(Bachelors in Business Administration) and MBA(Finance)from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra. She has also studied Journalism and Mass Communications. Sunita had been in South Africa for 5 years. Writing is her passion. Health, fitness, and nutrition always has been her areas of interest. She has been writing blogs for some magazines and websites too. Authentic and interesting topics are what you are gonna read in the near future.
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