Too many children are obese these days. We all know it is not healthy.
• It lowers the child’s confidence level.
• It lowers their self esteem.
• It obstructs the child from many activities he would like to do at his age.
• His friends make fun of him.
• The child gets frustrated easily.
• The child is not happy.
With all the above factors, a vicious cycle begins. The frustration makes the child eat all the more, increasing the problem further.
Major Causes of Obesity in Children
• Many children do not know where to stop while eating. Their portions are big and end up over eating. Sometimes, due to various factors, they end up binging.
• These days, children lack physical exercise and do not like to indulge in outdoor games and activities. This is of major concern as it leads to obesity and results in other problems later in life.
• Family history of obesity
• Some stressful situation at home or school or in the neighbourhood
• Peer pressure and related problems.
• Insecurity of the child due to lack of interest by the parents or a broken home.
• Medication like steroids.
• Medical illnesses like genetics, hormonal problems etc.
• With the technological change and with such interesting indoor games available, children prefer to play those instead of playing outside. During earlier times we heard children meeting up to play cricket, soccer, basket ball, etc. Now days we hear children meeting up to play the PlayStation or the Game Boy, etc.
• Watching a lot of television and playing on the computers makes the child a couch potato and takes away the time he had to go and play outside. While sitting and playing, they also indulge in eating and drinking the wrong things at the wrong time.
• Junk food and processed food is available in every form, and somehow the children love it.
How to Control Obesity in Your Child
• Manage your child’s weight yourself, and if you find it difficult, join a weight management programme.
• Change the eating habits by eating slowly and chewing every bite.
• Develop a routine for meals and mid meals. Binging and junk food is allowed only on a weekend.
• Avoid too much fat and processed food in the diet.
• Control portions; eat more frequently but in less quantity.
• Increase physical exercise, which would include walking, jogging and playing outdoor games. The child should play outside every day.
• All indoor games are for a day during the weekend.
• Keep a watch at what your child eats at school.
• Meals should be eaten with the family and not in front of the computer or the television.
• Food should not be a regular reward for a good piece of work.
• Snacking should be reduced.
Follow these tips and keep your child healthy and fit.