Childhood obesity equals lifelong diseases
Childhood obesity is reaching alarming proportions in India. Reportedly, more than 20% of children and adolescents have hit the obesity stage. There are a number of adult diseases that are rising among the youth. It is not uncommon to see youngsters suffering from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and various heart diseases. These are instances that prove how important it is to tackle obesity in childhood itself, before it becomes a lifelong burden laden with diseases.
Childhood obesity – affecting all countries
In developing countries like India and China, where traditionally, being overweight (or as they call “healthy”) is considered as a sign of prosperity, children in wealthier families are more likely to be overweight. It all originated from the past generations, where food always used to be short and people even used to die from starvation. While our grandparents have not been able to shake off the ideology, it’s high time that we do. In developed countries, the situation is no better, but perhaps the ideology is. Obesity is not necessarily linked to prosperity, since it is common knowledge that is the fatter and sugary foods are the ones which are commonly and cheaply available. Being fit is what requires more effort.
Both parents working sometimes worsens the problem. Sometimes parents feel they should not be stopping their kids for any demands because of the guilt due to lack of time being spent with them. They may even go for processed foods a bit too much due to the lack of time available at home.
Make these changes now!
This trend can change if you start implementing the following things in your routine:
Give them tasks
No matter how small your kid is, make him/her have a habit of working at home, helping mom/dad in daily chores. It can be simple like arranging the dining table before meals, or even teaching them to use washing machine. Reward them when they complete a task. This would give them some of the physical activity required, as well as make them more responsible.
Watching their diet
In order to help your kids maintain a well balanced diet, you need to keep yourself in check. Avoid stress eating in front of your kids. One day in a week is fine for an outing and a movie. Try cooking something that your kids will like and will be low in fat. Try and cook in very low oil, and avoid fried food.
Start pushing your kids more to go outdoors and play. Initiate them into sports, swimming or cycling. These are healthy addictions that should stay with them for a lifetime.
Plan outings and activities
And by outings, we don’t mean a mall or a movie. Plan trekking or picnics, which would be more fun, and far more beneficial. Even plan gardening sessions together! It may sound surprising, but kids really love watering plants 🙂
This is one of the main culprits in adding to the obesity of kids. Restrict usage of television, computer and mobile game. Set an age limit as to no use of social media below a certain age.
Acknowledge the problem
Learn to accept that your kid may be suffering from childhood obesity, and he needs your help. You need to acknowledge this. Change your lifestyle and adopt a much healthier way of living. Encourage them. Your child’s quality of life depends on it.