Child Obesity is a condition in which the weight of a person increases abnormally. It may be caused due to various reasons like health problem, over eating, etc. It can affect people of all ages from children at a very small age to adults. Child Obesity is a great concern because it leads to obesity in young children at a very early age. According to reports, a generation of obese urban Indian children faces huge medical risks and reduced lifespans. It’s not that obesity affects a person’s physical health but it also has a negative influence on the mental health.
Obesity- Causes, Effects and Control Measures
This is a very serious issue and we need to take subsequent efforts for controlling and preventing it. A survey report suggests that 18.2 percent of Indian kids aged between 2 to 17 years are overweight or obese as per the international standards. It’s really shocking to know that despite there being a more under nourished children in our country, there are also millions of children who are suffering from obesity.
Obesity is caused due to unhealthy eating habits, over eating, eating unhealthy foods like burgers, sandwiches, etc. Many children spend a lot of time being inactive and over eating simultaneously.
Experts reveal that an average child spends about 4 hours a day with television, the internet, mobile phones or video games during which they often take snacks and eat a lot of sugary soft drinks, all of which contribute to lot of calories.
Lack ofphysical activity and junk foods are the main causes behind the obesity of many children.
A survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), there has been a huge change in the eating habits of the people especially in the metro cities where around 86 percent of households prefer processed, instant foods, thanks to rise in the incomes and living standards of the people, conveniences and the influence of western culture.
Obesity has some real dangerous effects on our body. It affects both the physical and mental health of a person.
In comparison to normal children, the obese children are at a greater risk of facing the problem of high blood pressure and respiratory problems.
Type-2 diabetes is another problem that obese children are likely to suffer from.
Due to unhealthy eating habits, the children are at greater risk of facing cardio- vascular problems.
It is expected that it may give rise to cancer and some other life threatening health problems.
All these effects may result in reduced life spans of children.
High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides increase the risk of cardio vascular diseases that are most frequently seen in children these days.
Obesity affects the mental health of a person adversely. It makes a person feel low about himself and isolated from the rest of the people.
Obesity makes a person lazy and sluggish. The person doesn’t like doing any work and sits idle all the time.
Today many children spend a lot of time unnecessarily watching TV, or remain hooked to their cellphones and over eat simultaneously.
Obesity must be taken seriously because once a child gets obese then he has to face lot of health problems and diseases.
Adults can play a crucial role in keeping this problem in check and under control. They need to do their bit to make sure that they inculcate the right and healthy eating habits in their children.
They must make their children aware of the benefits of healthy eating and the ill effects of consuming junk and unhealthy foods.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the educational institutions and parents as well to correct this ongoing trend.
Parents are the best role models, so if they inculcate the right habits in their children at an early age, then this problem of child obesity is definitely going to reduce considerably.
But if parents have unhealthy eating habits, then there is a high risk that their children might also have those habits. It becomes quite difficult in this kind of a case to stop childhood obesity.
Schools also must provide an environment that promotes healthy eating and physical activities like sports, etc.
Schools must not have canteens in their premises where lot of junk foods like burger, sandwiches, chowmein, chips and aerated drinks, etc. are served to the children. Schools can also revamp their canteens so as to make sure that only healthy foods are processed and served to the students.
Children must be encouraged to take part in games and sports that are very essential for them to keep healthy and fit. Lack of physical activity is one of the main reasons behind this problem.
Some schools in the country have started to take this problem seriously. For this, they have made playing time and yoga compulsory for the children. These physical activities will help them to keep fit and also enhance their growth.
There are some schools in the country who organize annual health checks and discuss the issue with parents and school dietician.
Such children must be motivated to join gymnasium or yoga classes. It will help to reduce calories and prevent from getting over weight.
Another thing that parents can do is stop their children from eating while watching television. They must not be allowed to watch TV, or play video games for too long.
Children must be given healthy foods like leafy vegetables and pulses that are rich in a number of minerals and vitamins that are good for the body and prevent us from various health problems.
Therefore, Child Obesity should not be taken lightly. It leads to life threatening health problems in the later stages. So, make sure you follow the above mentioned tips regularly for getting the best results.