Obesity is not limited to adults instead it is rising at an alarming rate amongst Children. Health effects of childhood obesity can be both psychological and physiological. Childhood obesity can significantly increase the risk of a child developing depression; it can also result in early onset of obesity-related conditions seen in obese adults. Some of the conditions that are associated with obesity include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, sleep apnoea and cancer etc.
Childhood obesity also increases likelihood of child growing into an obese adult. Research says that around 70% of obese children remain obese even when they grow up. As such, childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of premature death as well as disability in adulthood.
The rising rate of childhood obesity is a warning sign that children not only need to learn healthy lifestyle practices, but they also need support from parents, teachers and their communities. It all starts with environmental changes and that can take place at all levels. Simple changes can make a big difference and over time they can help obese children lose weight and regain their health.
The most influential people in a young child’s life is his or her parents. An overweight child can benefit greatly from having the proper support at home. Parents can educate themselves and their children on healthier food choices. Simple behavioral modification helps children eat less and move more to lose weight and lower their BMI. Replace treats and soda with fruits and vegetables. Make exercise a fun part of the day that the family shares together. Limit time spent on TV, the Internet and video games and involve kids more in out door activities. Advertisement of Cadbury chocolate is apt in current times but chocolate shouldn’t be the reward for it else the whole purpose would be lost.
It’s important that the child isn’t put on a diet. Instead, focus on positive lifestyle changes that the whole family will follow. Promote acceptance and health rather than focusing on their weight or BMI. Set goals for the family and reward family members for their achievements.