Child Obesity Facts |Online India
Obesity is one of the most prevalent nutritional disorder among children and adolescents. Times of India reported that, between 5.74 per cent to 8.82 per cent of schoolchildren in India are obese. Its prevalence has increased so much that it is considered a major health concern of the developed and developing world.
Childhood obesity may leads to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, liver and renal disease, and reproductive dysfunction. Obesity also increases the risk of adult-onset obesity,cancer and cardiovascular disease. People whose weight exceed the expected for heights by 20%, 50%, and 80-100%, are grouped as overweight, obese, and morbidly obese respectively.
Normal ranges for BMI vary with age, sex, and pubertal status. Children and adolescents are considered overweight or obese if the BMI exceeds the 85th or 95th percentiles, or exceeds 30 kg/m2 at any age.
Body mass index (BMI) is a ratio of height and weight to estimate a person’s body fat. Children between the ages 2 to 19 are placed into one of the below four categories as per their BMI:
- BMI below the 5th percentile – Underweight
- BMI between 5th and 85th percentile – Normal weight
- BMI between 85th and 95th percentiles – Overweight
- BMI above 95th percentile – Obese
Health Problems Due To Obesity
Obesity increases risk of developing a number of medical conditions that may affect present and future health of children. For example diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia.
- Shortness of breath making physical activity difficult
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Overweight girls are likely to have irregular menses and may expereince fertility problems in adulthood
- Liver and gall bladder diseases
- Cardiovascular disorders (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia)
- Emotional issues: Obese children may develop low self-esteem, and may be teased by other kids.
What Is Your Duty As A Parent or Guardian?
As a parent it is your duty to ensure your child maintain a healthy life. You must keep a strict vigil on their diet and ensure the calories consumed from foods and beverages should in balance with the calories used through physical activity and normal growth.
Goal for overweight and obese children is to facilitate extra weight loss while allowing normal growth and development.
A dietician and doctor should be consulted before placing on a weight reduction diet.
How to Balance Calories
Calories can be balanced by encouraging healthy eating habits and engaging in an appropriate amount of physical activity.
- Develop healthy eating habits
- Increase vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products in diet.
- Consume low-fat milk and dairy products.
- Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
- Serve small-sized portions.
- Encourage to drink lots of water.
- Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Reduce intake of sugar and saturated fat.
- Try to make favourite dishes healthier.
Encourage Kids Stay Physically Active
Engaging in an appropriate amount of physical activity does wonder to not only to children but it benefits in all ages. Besides being fun for kids and teens, physical activity has many health benefits, including:
- Strengthen bones
- Decreases blood pressure
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase self-esteem
- Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases