Childhood obesity is on the rise! As a parent, it is not easy to accept the fact that your child might be obese or even overweight. The body mass index (BMI) uses height and weight to calculate whether a child falls into underweight, average, overweight or obese categories. Even if your child is a little overweight, it is easier to shed the extra pounds as compared to adults. (Moreover in young kids we just want baby to maintain that weight and do not allow the child to gain weight further and with time as the age grows child will fall in normal weight category)
Obesity, be it in children or adults, has multiple risk factors associated with it. It affects the entire body and causes our body functions to go haywire.
Most common associated risks with obesity are:
- Increased risk for type II diabetes due to insulin resistance;
- High risk for respiratory conditions such as asthma;
- Abnormal sleep patterns and snoring issues;
- Depression and low self- esteem due to the body shape and always stared upon;
- Risk of high blood pressure;
- Joint problems due to large weight
In current time, childhood obesity is spreading like an epidemic through all the cultures. The action plan to get rid of this menace includes:
1. Get rid of calorie-rich temptations
Avoid giving your child extra calories such as chocolates and fried chips for snacks. Instead try fresh fruits or vegetables with dips for snacking.
2. Decrease extra sugar
Try not to put extra sugar in milk or any other food that you might serve to your child.
3. Regular scheduled meals and adequate portion size
Having small meals and snacks in between the meals decreases production of fat and increases metabolism. Try child-size servings instead of adult-size. Add juices, smoothies, beans, pulses, five portions of fruit and vegetables.
4. Do not eat out too often
Outside food might contain too much oil, butter, salt and sugar. Basically, nothing beats homemade food! So avoid eating out.
Exercising is the best way to lose weight. Make it interesting for your kids. Play sports with them, go bike riding or on any other activity they like.
6. Decrease sedentary lifestyle
Children’s life these days has become sedentary because of increased use of electronic devices such as TV, iPads, Tablets, etc. Lifestyle surrounding these gadgets must be avoided.
7. Lead by example/ Be a role model
Be the change you want to see in your child. Behave like you want them to in front of you. This is true especially for diet and exercise. If your kids see you eating healthy food and exercise regularly, they will try to follow your footsteps.
So, kick start these above mentioned activities and watch your kids transform from being overweight to being healthy and fit.