Obesity is a condition in which a child is significantly overweight for his or her age and height. Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and teenagers. Nowadays it has become very common in kids. There are more than 10 million cases per year in India. Childhood obesity may lead kids to have problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol which are generally considered to be problem of adults. Symptoms of obesity are overweight, binge eating, pot belly, or shortness of breath in kids. Apart from affecting their physical development, obesity has serious impact over a child’s mental & social health. They may develop stress, sadness, and low self-esteem.
Prevention of obesity & overweight in preschool children is a national health priority as preschools have a significant role in setting the right habits in a child’s life and most of these problems find their roots at early years.
Amlio Early Education, on occasion of children’s day launched their campaign, “ Lets Move” ; for parents and kids to understand the childhood obesity and making them aware of consequences of obesity in kids against this deadly childhood condition.
Causes of Obesity in Children:
Children become overweight and obese for a variety of reasons. The most common causes are genetic factors, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of these factors. Only in rare cases is being overweight caused by a medical condition such as a hormonal problem. Below are some basic causes that develop obesity in kids:
Diet: Regularly eating high-calorie foods, such as fast foods, baked goods and vending machine snacks, can easily cause your child to gain weight.
Lack of exercise: Children who don’t exercise much are more likely to gain weight because they don’t burn as many calories.
Family factors: If your child comes from a family of overweight people, he or she may be more likely to put on weight especially in the environment where high-calorie foods are always available and physical activity isn’t encouraged.
Psychological factors: Personal, parental and family stress can increase a child’s risk of obesity. Some children overeat to cope with problems or to deal with emotions, such as stress, or to fight boredom.
Socio-cultural factors and urbanization: Overprotection and forced feeding by parents, false traditional beliefs about health and nutrition, low knowledge about nutrition in parents and caregivers also contribute to obesity. Also the limited availability of open spaces and parks due to population expansion
Amelio campaign which runs from 14th to 20th Nov; identifies some basic tips by to reduce obesity in kids:
- Promote healthy snacking in kids: Replace the candy with a fruit bowl.
- Routine physical activity: Set a goal of everyday at least 30 min physical activity.
- Plan healthy menu: Start the day with healthy breakfast
- Reduce the screen time: Limit your child’s screen time as low as possible at max 1 hr.
- Be a role model: Kids will follow the rules if they see you following.
- Personalized support for overweight and obese individuals: Complementing preventive care with treatment for those who already have weight problems.
Also, be sure to go to the doctor for well-child checkups at least once a year. During this visit, the doctor measures your child’s height and weight and calculates his or her BMI. Keep check of BMI index of your child and take all precautionary measured if required.