Childhood obesity is defined as Body Mass Index at or above 95th percentile for children of same age and sex. It has become one of the major concerns across the world. Nowadays, children have become so fascinated towards technology (playing video games/watching television) & fancy advertisements of junk food that they hardly opt for healthy food & outdoor activities.
As a result along with linear growth there is also excess fat deposition especially around the waist which not only affects their development but also make them prone to many diseases such as, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, insulin resistant diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease & respiratory disease.
Factors contributing to childhood obesity are:
Children learn from observation and so parents can be a role model for their kids in healthy eating & lifestyle. Few tips for parents that can help in preventing childhood obesity are:
· Lactating mothers should exclusively breastfeed their baby for 6 months. (unless there are any medical issues).
· Involve children in shopping or preparing healthy snack or meal as a part of weekend fun.
· Meals should always be eaten together as a family in a peaceful & pleasant environment.
· Spare sometime & accompany children for activities such as running, cycling, swimming, badminton.
· Encourage walking to cover short distance.
· Never allow kids to watch television or be distracted by any technology while having snack or meal.
· Avoid keeping or having easy access to junk food or aerated drinks at home.
· Keep healthy foods such as fruits, nuts, raw vegetable sticks handy for them.
· Avoid overfeeding children- serve small portions if they aren’t hungry to avoid force feeding. Over feeding of macronutrients especially carbohydrate or fat eventually results in obesity.
· Encourage chewing food slowly.
· Never use food as a mode of celebration or reward for children.