A chubby child might be cute, but did you know that childhood obesity can not only have an impact on the child’s immediate health, but can affect the child’s health adversely for many decades to come. It is estimated that one in five children between the age of 6 to 17 is overweight. Many of these children face a high risk of developing obesity related problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Let us discuss 3 major reasons for childhood obesity.

1. Inadequate sleep

It has been found that in the first year, infants need 14 to 18 hours of sleep in a day. Out of this, 10 hours at night and the remainder during daytime. Toddlers need 13 hours, and up to about 18 or 19 months, they should still be getting two naps a day and 10 hours at night. Lack of sleep can disturb the behavior of the child and they can start behaving stubborn, irritated or frustrated. An overtired child in school may have trouble focusing and paying attention in class. He may become forgetful and make silly mistakes.

2. If any of the parent is obese

Children learn things from their parents. So, if you are obese and if you tend to buy foods that are convenient to eat and tasty, such as cookies and chips, your child will have a higher risk of being obese. To keep yourself and your child fit, encourage your child to take up a sport, walking, running or any other physical activity.

3. Parental restriction of a child's eating

Parents trying to restrict their children's access to certain foods will only make them want those foods more. For example, if kids have never had a chance to eat potato chips regularly, they may overstuff themselves when the food appears at a friend's party or picnic. Therefore, moderation and control in portion is the key to control your weight. Being parents you need to work on changing the food environment in your home so that a wide variety of healthy choices such as fruits and vegetables are available while unhealthy options are not.

To keep your children healthy don’t use unhealthy food to comfort them when they are hurt or disappointed.