The number of children in India who are overweight is on the rise. There are studies which show that kids who are overweight are more prone to being overweight and obese when they’re adults as well. This could mean bad things for the adults - they are more likely to develop chronic diseases like heart problems and diabetes. They are also at the risk of developing stress, sadness and suffer from low self-esteem. That is exactly why we want to talk about why obesity happens to kids and how you can avoid it.
There are many reasons why kids can become obese. Here are a few:
- Genetic factors
- Lack of physical activity
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Hormonal problems and other medical problems
Sometimes a combination of these factors can make your child overweight. If you are a family with a history of obesity or share common habits such as eating or physical activities, then it may even run in the family.
Another common reason for your child to be overweight is being inactive. In this age of technology, children are more at risk of being addicted to technology, which in turn results in them spending a lot of time inactive, playing computer or video games, watching TV, and playing games on their phones or tablets.
If your child is overweight, it becomes important to let her/him know that they have your full support. Children derive a lot of their self-esteem from their parents’ opinions of them, and what you say will definitely affect your child. So, if you end up saying something negative, then this will have a huge impact on what they think of themselves. While that is the case, you also must let your child know that this weight is unhealthy.
Parents should ideally not set children apart because of their weight. Instead, here are a few things you can do to help out your kids when they become overweight or obese:
1. Healthy Eating Habits
Small changes in a kid’s diet can lead to major changes in his/her lives. Include more veggies and fruits, avoid using maida and start using whole-wheat and multi-grain products. Choose lean meats, poultry, fish and lentils for protein. Limit sugary, sweetened beverages and saturated ftty foods.
2. Healthy Lifestyle
Make your child understand the importance of being fit. Often, kids, or even adults for that matter, will not change their lifestyles until they decide it for themselves to alter it. So make your child get the consequences of having an unhealthy lifestyle and teach them the benefits of good health, like strong bones and muscles, low Blood Pressure, less stress and anxiety and high self-esteem.
Encourage your kids to participate in physical activities and exercise. You can help them by taking part in these activities with them. You could go walking, or play badminton, or football with them.
3. Reduce Inactive Time
Although it is going to be very difficult, you have to make sure your kid is more active, by taking away all his/her distractions. This includes screen-time, like watching TV or using technology. Encourage your kid to do more fun activities with the family rather than become a couch potato.