- Childhood obesity is increasing at a petrifying rate in urban India
- The main cause of obesity in childhood is a change in food habits
- Lifestyle disorders have seeped in very deep in our population
Every year 11th October is observed as the World Obesity Day 2018. It was launched in the year 2015 in order to spread awareness about the rising problem of obesity and the health hazards associated with it. The primary objective of World Obesity Day is to stimulate and support practical solutions for people who are obese; helping them achieve a healthy body weight and adopt measures to sustain it. On World Obesity Day, the goal is to make more people aware about the issue of obesity and encourage people to share their experiences. This will help people get rid of obesity and thereby living a healthy life.
As the burden of abdominal, lower limb obesity and metabolic syndrome are increasing as we speak, various studies suggest that by the year 2050 India will become the global diabetes capital. One of the main reasons identified for the above is that the children are not made aware by their parents that they are overweight instead they are being told that they look cute that way but this can be very dangerous for the kids as they can become obese very soon.
Lifestyle disorders have seeped in very deep in our population. These changes not only affect the adults but also drastically affect the lives of children. Childhood obesity is increasing at an faster rate in urban India.
To be precise obesity is defined as a 20% excess of calculated weight for age, gender and height of a child. In the year 2010, 42 million cases were identified of childhood obesity under 5 years and 35 million of them belong to the developing countries mainly the urban areas. Worldwide, 10% of school going children between the ages of 5 and 17 have been reported to be overweight or obese.
Many studies conclude that almost 15-20% of children in India are overweight whereas 30% have an increased risk of falling in this category. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents is about 10-30% whereas 60-70% of adolescents may remain overweight or obese in their adulthood years.
The main cause of obesity in childhood is a change in food habits that is, having more of foods containing empty calories and poor nutrition value. Physical inactivity in addition to the above, wrong eating habits have contributed to a major increase in calorie consumption as compared to calorie expenditure.
Childhood obesity has worried so many people all around the world as it remains throughout the adulthood and eventually increases the risk for developing many lifestyle disorders for example diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Such children usually develop breathing problems and they find it difficult to exercise further leading to an increase in obesity by forming a vicious cycle. With the development of technology to the extent that everything is a click away, children spend most of their times being couch potatoes. Apart from this the child is often body shamed by his peers in school and even at home which hampers the confidence of the child and may lead to various psychological issues such as depression to name a few.
In order to reduce the burden of childhood obesity, parents must understand the side effects of their child's lifestyle and habits. A healthy lifestyle must be demonstrated to the children by the parents and should not just be preached to them. Children should be told about the importance of sports and general physical activity and should be encouraged to lead an active life.
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