Obesity In Children


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With the growing rate of obesity in children, the problem has become a serious issue for discussion. A child or a person having 20% more weight than what is normal for their height and age may be called obese. Evaluation of obesity in childhood is important for the simple reason that it helps prevent the disease and its negative health hazards, both physical and psychological, at an early stage.

There are several factors responsible for childhood obesity like, hormonal factors, family history, or other reasons. Both genetic and environmental factors play an important role in this regard. The environmental factors responsible for obesity are less activity, increased intake of fatty and carbohydrate rich food and the consumption of more calories than what is required. The genetic factors include Hypothyroidism, the presence of Diabetes, etc. These genetic disorders which are responsible for obesity in children may be treated under the supervision of an expert. An easy formula to maintain weight is:

The Calories taken i.e. food, minus, the Calories burnt i.e. physical exercise, equals weight gain or loss.

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, osteoarthritis and cancer. Obese children generally have increased blood pressure and heart problems when compared to non-obese children. Obesity treatment for a specific child should be planned keeping all the above mentioned factors in mind, and in step by step weight loss goals, including dietary and physical activity management. A few steps should be followed to manage the diet of an obese child:

a) inculcate the habit of eating more fresh fruits rather than consuming biscuits and chocolates,

b) never force your child to eat more when they are full,

c) provide ample fibre in the child’s diet,

d) limit the amount of television viewing, and

e) last but not the least, tell your child about the health value of different foods.

It is essential to tackle psychological problems as well the physical ones. An obese child may suffer from depression and poor self-esteem. It is the moral responsibility of family and friends to raise the moral of the child by appreciating their plus points and by encouraging them to lose weight, and not making fun of their weight. We must understand that obesity is a normal disease and can be cured if taken seriously.

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