Tag Archives: overweight child

Worried About Your Child’s Obesity? Watch the Kilos Melt Away With This Action Plan!

childhood_obesity_mayaclinic.in

Childhood Obesity is on the rise! As a parent, it is not easy to accept the fact that your child might be obese or even overweight. The body mass index (BMI) uses height and weight to calculate whether a child falls into underweight, average, overweight or obese categories. Even if your child is a little overweight, it is easier to shed the extra pounds as compared to adults. (Moreover in young kids we just want baby to maintain that weight and do not allow the child to gain weight further and with time as the age grows child will fall in normal weight category)

Obesity, be it in children or adults, has multiple risk factors associated with it. It affects the entire body and causes our body functions to go haywire.

Most common associated risks with obesity are:

  1. Increased risk for type II diabetes due to insulin resistance;
  2. High risk for respiratory conditions such as asthma;
  3. Abnormal sleep patterns and snoring issues;
  4. Depression and low self- esteem due to the body shape and always stared upon;
  5. Risk of high blood pressure;
  6. Joint problems due to large weight

In current time, childhood obesity is spreading like an epidemic through all the cultures. The action plan to get rid of this menace includes:

1. Get rid of calorie-rich temptations

Avoid giving your child extra calories such as chocolates and fried chips for snacks. Instead try fresh fruits or vegetables with dips for snacking.

2. Decrease extra sugar

Try not to put extra sugar in milk or any other food that you might serve to your child.

3. Regular scheduled meals and adequate portion size

Having small meals and snacks in between the meals decreases production of fat and increases metabolism. Try child-size servings instead of adult-size. Add juices, smoothies, beans, pulses, five portions of fruit and vegetables.

4. Do not eat out too often

Outside food might contain too much oil, butter, salt and sugar. Basically, nothing beats homemade food! So avoid eating out.

5. Exercise

Exercising is the best way to lose weight. Make it interesting for your kids. Play sports with them, go bike riding or on any other activity they like.

6. Decrease sedentary lifestyle

Children’s life these days has become sedentary because of increased use of electronic devices such as TV, iPads, Tablets, etc. Lifestyle surrounding these gadgets must be avoided.

7. Lead by example/ Be a role model

Be the change you want to see in your child. Behave like you want them to in front of you. This is true especially for diet and exercise. If your kids see you eating healthy food and exercise regularly, they will try to follow your footsteps.

So, kick start these above mentioned activities and watch your kids transform from being overweight to being healthy and fit.

Childhood Obesity: a serious and growing concern in our society

food     

Childhood Obesity is a major health problem these days. Initially it was supposed to be disease of western countries and affluent class, but data clearly shows that it is very rampant in middle class families. Main reason as we all know are changing lifestyle with lots of junk food and minimal physical activity. It is important to be in touch with your pediatrician.

Definition: Simplistically, Obesity results from an imbalance of caloric intake and energy expenditure.

BMI (Body Mass index): BMI charts are available which can be used in children > 2years old,

BMI= Weight (in kg)/ Height (in meter)2

Obesity:  BMI more than or equal to 95th percentile

Overweight:  BMI between 85th and 95th percentile

Factors leading to obesity:

child-obesity

  • Enviornmental factors:
    • calorie dense food
    • consumption of processed foods
    • limited physical activity
    • sedentary interests: computers, TV, video games

 

  • Genetics factors also play important role in some cases

Co-Morbidities associated with childhood obesity:

  • Cardiovascular: Dyslipidemia, Hypertension
  • Endocrine: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary Syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal: Gall bladder disease, Non Alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Psychosocial effects and stigma
  • Orthopedic complications:  joint pain etc.
  • Respiratory: Sleep Apnea
  • Neurologic:  Pseudotumor cerebri

     Obesity-Cycle 

Interventions:

Successful intervention for obesity is challenging and is best accomplished using multimodal approaches to accomplish lifestyle change. In children we do not want rapid weight loss as child is in growing phase and adequate nutritious diet is needed. So it is best to try to retain the same weight or very slow weight loss.

  • Catch them young – school age children must be targeted
  • Do not skip meals especially Breakfast
  • Increase awareness: media; school teachers; governmental and NGO effort
  • Minimise advertising pressure for  “junk foods”
  • School play grounds; “Games periods”
  • Health food in school canteens

Traffic light Diet Plan:

Features Green light food Yellow light food Red light food
Quality Low -calorie, high –fiber, low-fat, nutrient-dense Nutrient-dense, but higher in calories and fat High in calories, sugar and fat
Types of food Fruits, vegetables Lean meats, dairy, starches, grains Latty meats, sugar, fried foods
Quantity Unlimited Limited Infrequent or avoided

  

Conclusion:

  • India is in the midst of an escalating epidemic of life style disorders associated with childhood obesity.

• The important causes of the epidemic in India appear to be:  unhealthy eating pattern, reduced physical activity, increased sedentary pursuits .

• Prevention must begin early in the form of a public health campaign directed towards lifestyle

changes of the family / society as a whole. The campaign requires strong social and political will.

• Health professionals must think `prevention of obesity’ at all visits, monitor BMI and ensure that ‘nutrition messages’ are not conflicting and confusing.

• Special strategies for different ages and channels of interventions for prevention of obesity have been outlined.

• Clinic based individual assessment of the obese child and principles of therapy are provided.

For any queries consult your child doctor or feel free to contact Maya Clinic. we will be more than happy to answer all of them.

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

“Healthy Kids, Happy Family”