Childhood Obesity: A Global Concern
One of the most common issues affecting the children globally is Childhood Obesity.This is a peculiar condition in which there is negative effect due to excess body fat on a child’s health and general wellbeing. One of the most common methods to determine body fat is Body Mass Index
Calculation or BMI calculation.
Due to the increasing menace of this condition in large number of children all over the world, this condition is being recognised as a serious and alarming public health concern.
The Stigma of Childhood Obesity
More often than not, in case of children the term obese is replaced by overweight as it sounds less stigmatising.
However, changing words does not reduce the enormous concern attached with the issue.One of the most common problems faced by an obese child is discrimination among their peers.Some children even complain of harassment or discrimination within their families by other family members.In a large number of cases, the obese child loses his self-esteem and goes into depression.
The Causes for Childhood Obesity
The causes of Childhood Obesity are usually related to Sedimentary Lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits.For a growing child, it is very essential to have a correct assessment of calorie intake vis a vis activity. An imbalance leads to obesity and if not checked at the initial stages, it can manifest itself very quickly into uncontrollable proportions.One of the important contributing factors these days is increased consumption of energy dense carbonated drinks among children. The additional energy intake with a sedentary lifestyle is the most common cause for obesity
The Adverse Effects of Childhood Obesity
Apart from the emotional and psychological effects there are several serious and even life threatening medical conditions which can affect an obese child.These include Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Sleep Disorders, Cancer and other problems.Some other common disorders can include liver disease, eating disorders like anorexia , early puberty / menarche, skin infections , asthma etc.In most cases, overweight children are usually likely to grow into overweight adults.In 2008 a study found that most obese children had carotid arteries which had aged prematurely by almost as much as 30 years as compared to normal.Eventually it has led to a decrease in life span by almost five years for obese children.
Healthy Approach to Prevention of Childhood Obesity
Some of the most common approaches to prevention of Childhood Obesity is Programmes promoted at family or school level.These programmes include Physical Activities including Yoga, modification of dietery intake and prevention of sedentary behaviour. Sensitisation of the children towards healthy eating habits to include vegetables and fruits. Peer pressure is one of the most effective ways of inculcating good or bad habits among adolescents. Some schools run programmes aimed at creating peer pressure among children to outdo each other in healthy eating habits and physical activities.
There is a need to educate parents to ensure a healthy dietary regime at home for children and ensure that early signs of obesity are addressed with utmost importance and a healthy routine is ensured at the earliest.Another healthy approach is to inculcate the habit of walking in children. If possible take the child walking to school every day. Take him/her for leisurely strolls in the park or the neighbourhood a few times during the week.Over a period of time the child starts taking pride in his fitness and agility as compared to his peer group and becomes self-conscious to prevent becoming obese.
Leo is a blogger from London in UK. She loves kids and therefore loves to write articles related to children. As a single mother, she took up writing as her profession to meet the educational expenses of her kids and the family. She says that child support agency has helped her much in upbringing her kids and she recommends the same to any single parent looking for guidance. For any guidance during emergency situations regarding her children, she calls in the CSA Helpline for assistance.