Childhood obesity

What is Childhood Obesity?

A condition in which a child is significantly overweight for his or her age and height.

Whether we call them horizontally challenged, chubby, plump, overweight, extra large, well nourished or stocky, the fact remains that there is a steady growth in the number of Indians kids who are FAT. 

Alarming bells are ringing!! Wake up

Childhood is the age span ranging from birth to adolescence. … In developmental psychology, childhood is divided up into the developmental stages of early childhood (preschool age), middle childhood (school age), and adolescence (puberty to legal adulthood).
One of the biggest epidemics of present era is CHILDHOOD OBESITY.

These are the years of rapid growth during which physical, hormonal and mental development takes place.
This is also that sensitive time in which a teenager when they love calling them Gen Z can grow either way – rightly or wrongly in terms of both mental and physical changes.

Doctors report a significant jump in the number of obese children between 11 and 16 years of age who are brought in by their parents.
They begin to relate to their physical, social and psychological environment in a completely different way.
This is a difficult time for teenagers because they are in that off state where they are neither quite adult nor quite kids.
They have growing desire for independence and also the need to assert it, even if they have to rebel against their parents authorities.

This often leads to an undesirable life style. Quite often they develop bizarre and unhealthy food habits.

An unbalanced diet is one of the primary reasons for obesity. As it is, healthy traditional food habits have been completely eclipsed in cities and urban areas. Cheese and sauce laden pizzas have replaced nutritious Roti’s and Rice
Burgers instead of idlis or commercial soft drinks instead of homemade nimbu pani or sherbet have become the norm.

In high income group cereals intake in reduced and consumption of fat and sugar is increased.
In this Generation fast food joints are’ in’. Eating out with friends on any given occasion in very normal and compulsory too.
We all should aim to tackle this problem which is plaguing them without their knowledge or ours. 

According to study 4 million abdominally obese children are in urban India.

The cause for this alarming figure are :

1 . Increase in consumption of high calorie drinks. Media has created the image of a mythical kid who is always with it, who eats the most happening snacks and drink the coolest soft drink and lead the most exciting freaky life.

2 . Over feeding and under feeding due to industrialisation, urbanisation and economic betterment. In aspiring towards the image created in social media most kids tend to lead exactly the kind of life they should not be leading.
Because of easy flow of money spending power of kids has grown leaps and bounds.
If they not been able to project themselves according to set norms by peers they fall prey of tremendous stress and mood swings.

3.Children spends more time in front of TV  and computers. Parents do not have as much control over their child’s habits.
Increasing urbanisation has led to less space and outdoor games and activities.
They love to spend the leisure time in front of the television or on iPad or phones. The result is virtually no physical exercise. They become couch potatoes. Thus resulting in childhood obesity.

4.Single child in urban areas. Since focus is on only one attention from both the sides is very high. All the demands are full filled relevant or irrelevant. Thus kid’s start playing with all the emotions.

Whatever may be the cause underlying child obesity, the fact remains that it is a highly undesirable condition which must be avoided.

Common people these children are future our nation. We have to start work from ground root levels to remove childhood obesity.

Physical complications of childhood obesity:

Physical complications of childhood obesity may include:

  1. Type 2 diabetes: This chronic condition affects the way child’s body uses sugar (glucose). Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  2. High cholesterol and high blood pressure:  A poor diet can cause child to develop one or both of these conditions. These factors can contribute to the buildup of plaques in the arteries, which can cause arteries to narrow and harden, possibly leading to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
  3. Joint pain: Extra weight causes extra stress on hips and knees. Childhood obesity can cause pain and sometimes injuries in the hips, knees and back.
  4. Breathing problems: Asthma is more common in children who are overweight. These children are also more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which a child’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
  5. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD):  This disorder, which usually causes no symptoms, causes fatty deposits to build up in the liver. NAFLD can lead to scarring and liver damage.
  6. Polycystic ovaries(PCOD/PCOS): PCOS is the most common endocrine condition amongst pre-menopausal women, and it is estimated to affect as much as 15-20% of women globally. PCOS is characterised by elevated levels of male hormones which can cause a range of distressing and life-limiting symptoms, including reduced fertility, irregular periods, excessive facial and body hair, and acne. Multiple cysts on the ovaries are a common sign of PCOS, and the condition has previously been associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Although an unhealthy diet, high in saturated fat, has been linked to poor metabolic health, its impact on the development of PCOS is unknown.

Social and emotional complications

Children who have obesity may experience teasing or bullying by their peers. This can result in a loss of self-esteem and an increased risk of depression and anxiety.

Mandatory points which each family should follow…
1 Breakfast should be mandatory.
2. Include the consumption of whole seasonal fruit in a day.
3. Include fist full of nuts in the diet.
4. Sweetened beverages should be restricted.
5. Focus on healthy evening snack
6. At least 8 glasses of water daily.
7. Minimum 1 hr of outdoor activity daily.
8. At least  8 hrs of sleep required.
9. Develop a hobby.

48 thoughts on “CHILDHOOD OBESITY”

  1. This is a major issue all of us r facing in today’s high tec yet low natural well-being. Thanx Smita for giving us a detailed insight.