Business Wire India
In India, especially, childhood obesity is a growing global health concern. One of the most important public health issues of the twenty-first century, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is childhood obesity. With 14.4 million obese children, India has the second-highest number of obese children in the world, according to research. Therefore, it is crucial to immediately turn attention towards it due to its alarming upward trend and significant health implications.
Their movement was restricted due to the strict lockdown regulations, which led people to panic and buy products with longer shelf lives, particularly foods that are highly processed and high in calories. In addition, schools were closed in 2020 as a result of a nationwide lockdown that kept kids of all ages inside their homes.
Schools adopted the virtual model of instruction. Children have become dependent on their mobile devices, laptops, and tablets for their daytime classes. In order to make up for the meetings and outdoor activities that were restricted due to lockdown norms, they used virtual modes of communication. However, screen time was not just limited to online classes.
In fact, it was noted that during the pandemic, screen time increased by 5 hours. During the pandemic, binge eating on food and streaming websites persisted. Due to the lack of activity, more calories were consumed, which caused children’s weight to rise.
Impact of childhood obesity on health:
Type 2 diabetes in children:
High blood sugar levels and improper glucose metabolism are symptoms that cause diabetes in children. Type 2 diabetes is more likely to develop in overweight children and adults. However, through dietary and lifestyle changes, this can be reversed.
Children who are obese are more likely to develop heart disease in the future due to high cholesterol and blood pressure. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are caused by consuming salty and fatty foods. Heart attacks and strokes are the results of this.
Precocious puberty, also referred to as early puberty, occurs when a child's body begins to transition prematurely into an adult body. In general, girls begin puberty between the ages of 8 and 13, and boys between the ages of 9 and 14. Young girls as small as 8 years are attaining puberty due to obesity.
These children are more likely to experience joint pain and restricted range of motion, but once they begin losing weight, these symptoms can be reversed, and a full range of motion can be regained.
Debunk the major myths related to child obesity:
Myth 1: Childhood obesity is controlled by genes
Fact: While genes play a role in weight, they are merely a small component. If they eat healthy food and exercise, the majority of children can maintain a healthy weight.
Myth 2: It is simply baby fat. Kids will outgrow the weight.
Fact: Although it does significantly increase the risks, obesity in childhood does not always result in obesity in adulthood.
At Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, specialists offer treatment to deal with childhood obesity along with early puberty concerns. In addition, doctors offer treatment to delay or halt puberty progression in young children with early onset of puberty. The hospital also offers diagnostic procedures and medically approved ways to control the obesity in children and help them reduce the extra pounds in a healthy way.
Tips to bring a change in children dealing with obesity:
Changes in food habits:
The first step in battling obesity is having obese kids adopt healthier eating habits. The food one buys will end up in the child's stomach, so one should have control over what they eat. Limit the intake of chips, sweets, aerated beverages, and other junk items and beverages.
Reduce the screen time:
Children are more likely to be overweight if they spend a lot of time watching TV or playing games on computers, smartphones, or other devices. This limits their playtime and snacking increases when they watch a screen.
Encourage a good night's sleep:
Children aged six to twelve need nine to twelve hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep causes obesity because it causes kids to eat more and be less active.
Promote healthy habits:
One can improve the child's understanding of nutrition, provide opportunities for physical activities like yoga and games that require movement and provide healthier food options.
Involve them in physical activities:
Do not worry if children are not game players. Instead, please encourage them to engage in enjoyable activities to keep them occupied. For example, if they enjoy a dance or any racquet sport, make them sign up for a class.
Save the child from the sugar trap:
Bread, canned soups, pasta sauce, pickles, frozen foods, low-fat meals, fast food, and ketchup may contain hidden sugar. Limit the child's consumption of cookies, candies, and baked goods in favor of introducing fruit-based snacks and desserts.
Go all the way for good fats:
Go for good fat instead of no fat. Not all fats increase body weight. Focus on substituting healthy fats for unhealthy ones rather than trying to eliminate fat from a child's diet. To protect one’s child's health, stay away from trans fats.
Obesity in children is a complicated condition that can cause lifelong complications. It can be challenging for a parent to watch their child struggle with weight issues. However, no matter their weight, supporting the child is crucial.
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