”Emphasize Providing, not Depriving”
A child is determined as overweight by measuring their height and weight. Although children have fewer weight-related health problems than adults, overweight children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults.
Children become overweight for a variety of reasons. The most common causes are genetic factors, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of these factors. In rare cases, a medical problem, such as an endocrine disorder, may cause a child to become overweight.
Obesity and restrictive eating are of great concern because of the potential physical and physiological consequences. Dieting during childhood and adolescent years can compromise growth, cause nutrient deficiencies, and as more evidence shows, lead to obesity. Ignoring hunger cues and meal skipping are forms of dietary restriction that have been associated with overeating in adolescents.
Parents need to take an active role in teaching their children to develop healthy attitudes about food. If they begin during the preschool years, they can help their children avoid problems with childhood obesity and eating disorders in the years to come.
Health Risks: Children who are overweight are more likely to become overweight adults. They may develop type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other illnesses that can follow them into adulthood. Overweight in children can also lead to stress, sadness, and low self-esteem.
New Diet Approach May Fight Childhood Obesity
A diet that focuses on changing how and what a child eats rather than just counting calories and fat grams may help obese children and adolescents lose weight and lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
AVOID: Simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, sweet cereals, and sugary foods. And these foods cause blood sugar levels to surge after eating.
INCLUDE: Complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain bread and cereals, brown rice and vegetables.
How to be Your Child’s Weight Loss Ally
• A variety of fruits and vegetables should be included in the diet as they are rich in nutrients. Using good amount of green leafy vegetables will increase the dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, Folate and vitamin C.
• Protein rich foods should be included in the diet as they are very necessary for growth and development. Eggs are a complete protein and loaded with nutrients and vitamins. The other sources being pulses, fish, oats etc.
• Calcium is used to build bones, especially during adolescence. It is important to include three or more good sources of calcium in your diet every day. Cow’s milk, dairy products and green leafy vegetables contain calcium.
• Iron requirements are relatively high. To increase the amount of iron absorbed from a meal, eat a food containing vitamin C as part of the meal. Citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and broccoli are all good sources of vitamin C.
• Limit solid fats like butter, cheese, mayonnaise etc.
• Carefully cut down on the amount of fat in your family’s diet.
• Guide your family’s choices rather than dictate foods.
• Encourage your child to eat slowly.
• Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV.
• Try not to use food to punish or reward your child.
• Set a good example.
• Take control of the food you keep in your house. Don’t keep any junk food in your cabinets, and don’t be afraid to say no when your child asks you to buy these foods at the supermarket.
• Increase your child’s physical activities by supporting and joining her efforts to help her get started.
• Eat healthy, exercise and enjoy life!
The primary institution of the society which is a family has the responsibility of childcare Educating women about healthy eating and exercise strategies, as well as the physical and psychological impact of obesity on herself and her children, are important steps in improving lifelong health.