CHILDHOOD OBESITY: The exploding nightmare
It’s true when they say that obesity kills three times more than undernutrition. 2.6 million individuals die every year due to obesity and the sad part is it is not only restricted to adults. Approximately, 15% of the urban school children come under the obese category.Childhood obesity is considered as a major public crisis because obese children turn to be obese adults and thus it is not something you can just grow out from; the fat cells which build as the body turns obese can alter in size but they NEVER reduce in number. From bribing our children into greasy burgers to tuition time beating play time, there are various reasons for the rise of this epidemic.
REDUCED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Indulging in outdoor play has reduced considerably because of lack of space, various gadgets and also excessive academic pressure. Also, levels of convenience have intensified with technology which is also a reason for a sedentary lifestyle. The environment around the child plays a large role in making lifestyle changes; playing with your child, enrolling them into a weekly sports class, encouraging the choice of taking steps over lift etc. are ways to reverse this issue.
Ingestion of convenience foods like packed, processed, refined foods has escalated. An outing now means eating high and empty calorie foods in food courts or restaurants. A large share of blame also goes to the influence of media on children which lure them towards making unhealthy food choices. This can be reversed by making healthy food appealing, making wise choices, etc
High thyroid stimulating hormones have been related to obesity. The interaction between leptin, thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), TSH and thyroid hormones creates a vicious circle that can be broken only by a reduction in adipose tissue.
As the child grows, the influence of parents reduces and that of peer increases. Just to conform to the peer group a lot of unhealthy alterations are made like not carrying tiffin or carrying junk treats to school.
EATING WHILE ON THE SCREEN
Eating meals while watching TV or playing on the iPad is a new trend not only enjoyed by a child but also many times encouraged by parents. This leads to affecting the Leptin and Ghrelin hormone production which controls the hunger and satiety; this can lead to the child consuming more food without realizing.