How to combat child obesity?

 How to combat child obesity?

health women
How to combat child obesity

Doctors and other healthcare providers have warned of a health catastrophe if the fast-growing number of obese children is not brought down very quickly. A recent study in India, involving 4300 children of middle and upper-middle-class families, has found that more than 26% are overweight and 3.9% of them are plain obese.

The situation is similar the world over. Aggravating the problem is the established fact that when children watch TV, they take snacks more than usual. These foods are high in salt and calories and very low in fiber. This means a double problem. With the increasing number of both parents working, the already sedentary children are taking the kind of food that increases the fatty tissues in the body. Besides, if both parents are obese, the child has more propensities to become obese.

It is not just junk food alone that adds to the fat. Even the traditional cooking style involving refined and bleached wheat and polished rice have dislodged whole grain as the staple cereals.

Syndrome X or dysmetabolic syndrome is spreading fast these days. It is a defective gene action where the insulin action of the body is not adequate and the fatty tissues are not broken down. Obesity is not a separate thing but a metabolic element of Syndrome X comprising diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure.

But what is the harm of bearing a little extra fat for a child? Actually, experts say, obesity in children may give rise to arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases in future for the child.

So, what you will do to keep your children fit and healthy? Let’s have a look –

Do not allow children much time in front of the TV or computer playing video games. Besides putting on some extra weight, the habit will be changed to becoming a couch potato. Define the hours to be spent on TV, but allow them to watch their favorite TV shows.

Make a habit of healthy foods. Encourage them to take green salads and clear soups instead of taking meat salads or sweet corn chicken soup.

While eating at any fast food junction, ordering better foods like a pizza is a better alternative to a burger, and a milkshake is always better than cola. This has to be maintained at the parties also. Do not go for a-la-carte menus. Try simpler and more nutritious foods.

Your dinner time should be early in the night and preferably with home-cooked food. This will substantially reduce the time spent in front of the TV. After dinner, all the family members should sit together and enjoy each other’s company.

Always choose baked food items over fried food as that will give you fewer calories. Moreover, baked items have more fiber than the same amount of fried goods. Fried items contain more LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) which is regarded as ‘bad cholesterol. If accumulated for a long time, LDL in turn gives rise to an increased level of cholesterol.

Give your child more cereals, lentils, and vegetables. Make different preparations every day otherwise, your child will get bored with the same menu.

You must cut the red meat as much as possible and supplement it with seafood. The latter contains more omega-3 fatty acid which is a potent antioxidant.

Allow them to play for the whole evening after coming back from school.

Fix the timings of taking food.

Encourage your child to take seasonal fruit and fruit juices.

Give your child plenty of quality time. Try to go for an outing every weekend and let your child do the things that they like. Allow them a single day for their choice of food.

Never let your child put on some weight.