Did you know that India is the second largest country in the world to have the most obese children after China? The statistics are not just alarming but also amusing. Obesity in Children in India is taking an ugly turn with almost 1.44 crore children who are currently overweight and can be considered obese in India.
I have personally been judged because “according to many people” my children look lean. Is lean unhealthy ? My children are extremely active kids, eat their own food, choose what to eat and how much to eat and fall in the IDEAL WEIGHT category as per their pediatrician’s report and WHO growth scale ! Am i Worried ? NOT AT ALL !
Image Source – https://www.kinetickidsacademy.co.uk/child-obesity-problem-bexley/
Obesity in Children in India
The staggering numbers should actually come as no surprise. Indians have a fixation with fair skinned chubby babies right from the time when a baby is born. Mothers get crazy just at the thought of their children not eating food and it seems that it becomes the biggest issue in their lives. Their whole sole motto becomes of ways how to feed their babies / children without knowing, whether the child actually is hungry !
These statistics show a growing trend of unhealthy crises. We as parents take pride in the fact if our new born are born chubby. Most parents feel worried if their children don’t put on weight and don’t look over weight. While it’s a legitimate concern, but making a child obese by making the child over weight is unhealthy in so many ways. A child who gains weight gradually, and is able to achieve all his milestones on time – is a healthy child. An overweight child may ultimately become an overweight adult. Obesity brings a plethora of diseases along with it like – Diabetes, thyroid, PCOS, BP, Cancer, heart and other life-threatening conditions.
Image Source – https://goo.gl/oYhJ6Z
Some of the major reasons of obesity in children are –
- Decrease in physical activity
- Increase in use of mobiles, watching TV
- Unnecessary snacking
- Irregular portion size, or eating with distraction
Some other factor that contribute to obesity in children are –
- Easy access to cold drinks and deep fried junk food
- Excessive sugar because of cold drinks
- Instead of walking, using car or two wheeler
- Children prefer to stay at home and watch TV or play on mobile rather than go out for a outdoor game or play in the park
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
Image Source – https://newlifegenetics.com/child-obesity-and-genetic-weight-loss/
Effects of obesity in children are –
- Psychological like – harassment, bullying or discrimination, extreme pressure to do well in studies and life, depression and low self esteem
- Physical like – high BP, diabetes, heart and sleep problems, cancer or other disorders.
How can this be controlled?
- Encourage lot of activity – enroll them in a dance / aerobics class or children workout classes.
- Take them to park to play or indulge in any outdoor game.
- Give household chores so that it helps them move
- Limit junk to once a week or reserve it for special occasions ONLY
- Focus more on vegetables and fruits
- Encourage children to self feed and don’t force them to finish their meals.
- Respect their choice of quantity of food children want to eat
Image Source – https://goo.gl/tXcX2H
- Offer less portions to begin with and refill if the children ask for more
- Cut down on sugar and unhealthy oils. Choose healthy cooking oil
- Snack on healthy snacks like – makhanas, dry fruits, chiwda, fruits, steamed sauted’ vegetables
- Limit cold drinks
- Try and feed your children a protein rich diet as much as possible
- Last but not the least – be supportive and respect what they want to eat
“People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk — risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,” said Christopher Murray from the University of Washington.
Image Source – http://www.villageyouth.org/child-obesity/
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