Look at the statistics…
“Nearly 16 per cent of children in our country are overweight and 31 per cent are in the risk of falling in this category” as per Dr S Anshuman, a child specialist. An individual with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is clinically classified as overweight. A BMI of 30 or more is classified as obese. To know your child’s BMI, click the link, http://obesityfoundationindia.com/bmi.htm
In India, parents revel if their children are over-weight. Even close relatives are thrilled to find the child chubby and fat. However they find it a huge issue if the child does not eat well and strangely are not overtly concerned about obesity. Also, parents of today are more concerned about their children’s education and focus very little on their bad habits. These bad habits once imbibed in the child during the early stages of childhood are very difficult to remove later on. The main reason for obesity is junk food or fast food and the children get addicted to them naturally. Today’s children are more influenced by their peer network and copying the badly learned habits of their peers has become a fad. As the Indian society is moving towards both parents being career oriented and working full time, this issue will not be resolved soon.
Obesity causes diabetes and also leads to cardio vascular diseases among others. More importantly, it causes psychological problems like stress and depression at a young age. Is the New India going to die young or live most of their adult lives as patients, or should parents take ownership and look at preventing this life style disorder.
The best way to deal with obesity is to prevent it. Some of them are:
- Limiting consumption of beverages like Coke and Pepsi,
- Reducing daily TV, computer screen time to less than two hours,
- Removing television and computers from primary sleeping areas,
- Eating breakfast regularly,
- Limiting eating out, especially at fast food outlets,
- Encouraging family meals
- Encouraging diets with recommended quantities of fruits and vegetables and
- Including physical activity in the daily routine
It is also essential when it comes to food habits, to encourage an authoritarian parenting style and to discourage a restrictive one. Parents need to be role models when it comes to healthy diets, portion sizes, physical activity and screen time.
And last but not the least, monitoring, measuring and managing your child’s physical and psychological health at regular intervals is the key. As parents this is the least we can do to our children.
Would love to hear your views on the same…