OBESITY IN CHILDREN
Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height
The WHO definition is:
• A BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight
• A BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity
According to WHO in 2013, 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese.
CAUSES OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY
The fundamental cause of obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. .
DIET: An increased intake of energy dense food that is high in fat
• An increase in physical inactivity due to increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work
BEHAVIOUR: In today’s fast paced environment, it is easy to adopt unhealthy behaviors. A simple thing like watching TV during meals can be harmful, as they don’t realize that they are overeating.
• Environment: Walking has been replaced by driving cars. Basic physical activity has been replaced by technology
• PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS- kids may turn to food as a coping mechanism for dealing with problems or negative emotions like stress, anxiety, or boredom.
• GENETICS- If child was born into a family of overweight people, he/ she may be genetically predisposed to the condition
• MEDICAL CONDITIONS- hypothyroidism
• Prader – Willi syndrome
• Cushing’s syndrome
• SLEEP- fatigue alters the level of appetite regulating hormones, which can cause children to eat more.
• Pay attention to your child. Show them you care. Kids who are not tended by adults have higher rates of obesity.
• Don’t use food as a comfort measure.
• Don’t closely monitor the amounts your child eats or nag your child to eat at mealtime. This can interfere with your child’s response to hunger and feeling full.
• Watch your own weight kids under 3 who are overweight but whose parents are not overweight, have a low risk for becoming overweight adults.
• Don’t focus on weight. Instead focus on healthy living, good eating habits and physical activity.
• Limit television viewing time
By: Dr.Kanika Garg
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