In today’s fast world, children are becoming obese due to various reasons. Some of the most common causes of childhood obesity are genetic factors, lack of active physical activity, unhealthy eating habits and an unhealthy lifestyle. Today most children have a sedentary lifestyle, which leads to obesity.Watching television, playing computer games and using smart phones have become very popular, leading to hours being spent on the couch.
The rise in the obesity in children is a cause of concern because it causes health problems.
Causes of Childhood Obesity:
1. Lack of Physical Activity
In today’s world, children are engaged with popular technology games which do not need any physical activity. They are addicted to computer games, phones and television for hours leading to a complete sedentary lifestyle without any physical activity.
2. Food Habits
Today children are consuming high fat and sugary foods in their diet. Junk food has become an important part of their diet, instead of following a healthy diet. The affordability of food has come down. More foods like takeaway foods, restaurant foods, aerated foods and drinks,which are high in salt and sugar are today readily available besides the size of the food portions increasing drastically.
3. Use of Cars
Today more and more number of people are using the car as a mode of transport. The result is that walking has reduced drastically leading to a very sedentary lifestyle.
4. Physical Education and Sports in School
The importance of physical education and sports has reduced in the school curriculum. This has lead to children not being interested in active physical activities.
5. Overweight Parents
Family eating habits have a major influence on developing healthy eating habits in children. Children are great observers and will imitate your eating habits. Research has proved that parents who are fit and healthy have been able to inculcate the same good habits in their children and vice versa.
6. Genetic Problem
Some genetic disorders also lead to obesity. It is important for such families to make healthy food choices.
Childhood obesity is an important problem which can lead to health and social problems. Overweight children are very often teased by their peers leading to low self esteem and depression. Also once children are overweight, then it becomes very difficult for them to reduce to normal weight as it requires a lot of discipline and commitment.
Some of the good habits than can help to reduce obesity are :
a) Parents need to lead by example by having a daily exercise routine.They need to include physical activities like tennis,jogging, karate or even a simple non structured play time in their children’s daily routine. Include family activities together like swimming, walking and biking.
b) Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and restrict the time allotted for tv, mobiles or computer games.
c) Inculcate healthy food habits by including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid keeping snacks like chips, fried items and biscuits in the house. Encourage them to snack on dry fruits, nuts and oil free snacks.
Remember having a healthy life style is a long run process. You need to work on the same daily by making an informed choice of having healthy food and exercising.
You and your family need to take one day at a time and make a committed and disciplined effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
For more resources check out Childhood obesity.
For more information on eating healthy feel free to check out this book by Shilpa Shetty Kundra book “The Great Indian Diet”.
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