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World Obesity Day 2022: Heres What Can Be Done To Beat Childhood Obesity

Parents play a huge role in turning things around for their children who are overweight. Here's what you can do

World Obesity Day 2022: Heres What Can Be Done To Beat Childhood Obesity

Lifestyle is the most important factor when it comes to dealing with obesity

"Obesity is a chronic condition in which a person accumulates abnormal or excessive body fat which causes adverse health effects. Obesity is often the result of an imbalance between calories consumed and calories burned. There was a time when obesity was a matter of concern only in high income countries but now the concern has shifted at a very fast pace towards middle and low income countries especially in urban areas. India has recorded a remarkable increase in both male and female obesity over the past ten years, according to the National Family Health Survey data", says Dr Nitin Kapoor, Consultant Endocrinologist & Bariatric Physician and Professor from Vellore.

More people die from being overweight and obese than from being underweight. Further, overweight and obesity serve as a cause for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease (heart and stroke), diabetes, osteoarthritis, and other cancers (including breast, ovary, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and colon). Obesity among young Indians is a serious problem that can have serious ramifications in the long run. Today with advancing options in medical therapy, treating Obesity is possible. I am hopeful that we begin to see a turnaround in this obesity epidemic.

Obesity in children is a major problem that can lead to long-term issues such as low self-esteem and depression. Also, the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, and sleep apnea can considerably rise due to obesity. However, the silver lining is that childhood obesity can be reversed. And parents can play a huge role in turning things around for their children who are overweight. In the process, they can also benefit themselves and other family members who may be overweight. Parents should not, however, adopt dietary or lifestyle modifications based simply on the perception that their child is overweight.

Because children's bodies change with age, determining whether or not a child is overweight can be tricky. When it comes to assessing obesity in kids, only a healthcare expert should do it.

While genetics may have a part in some children's development, lifestyle is the most important factor when it comes to dealing with obesity. So, here are a few things you can do to help your kids lose weight and improve their health:

Develop healthy food habits among kids: Ensure that your kids get fresh, whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as whole-wheat pasta and bread, low-fat dairy, lean protein such as beans, tofu, nuts, and fish, and very little sugar. It also means consuming lesser salt, caffeine, and processed foods. Also, don't let your children skip breakfast. It's not a good idea. Throughout the day, also encourage the child to drink enough water and stay hydrated.

Ensure kids get enough physical activity: Exercise burns calories, develops muscle, and helps in weight loss. So, ensure your kids get enough physical activity in a day. It can include jogging, cycling, any kind of sports, or anything else that raises their heart rate and makes them sweat.

Reduce their screen time: Obesity is more common in children who spend a lot of time in front of screens. Set limitations on how much time your children spend watching TV, playing video games, or using computers, phones, and tablets for reasons other than schoolwork.

Find out the kid's BMI: By determining your kids' Body Mass Index (BMI), you can find out if their weight is healthy. BMI evaluates each child's height and age to assess if the weight is normal, or if they are obese. To find out if your child's BMI, use this calculator by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national public health agency of the US.

Promote a healthy lifestyle and be a good role model: As a parent, you must set a good example for your children. Get moving with your kids if you want them to be more physically active. When children see their parents working up a sweat, they will be encouraged to do the same. Also, educate kids on nutrition from a young age. Set daily meal and snack times, and eat with them as much as possible. It aids in the development of good eating habits in youngsters. Focus on the kids' overall health rather than a specific weight goal. Without focusing on body weight, instill healthy and positive attitudes in kids regarding food and physical activity.

Summing up, you should attempt to give your children a good start so they don't have to go through physical and emotional struggles due to obesity.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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