Obesity in children is becoming one of the biggest threats to mankind, reason – very obvious – it brings along lots of associated problems and conditions with it, apart from making one look fat and ugly, many would take it to be a reflection of an undisciplined lifestyle, though the real reason could be something entirely different. Children are the latest victims of the scourge of obesity. Thanks to a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercises, no regular fitness regime, junk food and crazy study schedules, they are not able to burn the calories they consume, and therefore they grow obese at an early age and it becomes a matter of concern for their overall health.
Because of their erratic study schedule, children tend to either overeat at one meal, which is mostly dinner, or even skip their meals altogether, or keep long gaps in between their meals. To remain active and energetic, children should have four proper meals per day.
Obesity can be due to several reasons, it can also be the result of malfunctioning of certain vital body organs. In children, apart from eating indiscreetly, obesity can also be due to lack of required energy expenditure in comparison to the calorie intake. Children should therefore be encouraged to increase their overall level of exercise to avoid obesity and have an active, healthy and fit life.
How To Manage Obesity In Children?
The day should start on a solid foundation. Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Children should have protein rich and filling breakfast along with a glass of milk. Better even if they include some fibrous, vitamin and iron rich fruits in their breakfast.
Plentiful Of Water Intake:
Water intake should be plenty throughout the day. Children should form a habit of drinking 10 to 12 glasses of water in a day.
Avoid Junk Food:
Too much junk food should be avoided as they have poor fibre content. Children should have more fruits, vegetables and salads, which give more roughage and fibre to the body.
Avoid Canned Juices:
Fresh juices are always better than canned juices, as they do not contain any form of preservatives and added chemicals and flavors which are harmful for one’s health. Malted and carbonated beverages, sugar free drinks should be avoided.
Food Should Be A Good Combination Of Carbohydrates A Proteins:
Proper meal should consist of a good source of carbohydrates, such as – chapatti, rice noodles etc., and a good source of proteins like – pulses, soya, fresh cheese. This would also help in maintaining the weight.
Avoid Heavy And Starchy Food:
Heavy and starchy food leads to deposition in the body or even starvation results in hormonal changes that can lead to problems like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome ( PCOS ) and calcium loss among girls, affecting their reproductive health.
Milk And Milk Products:
Intake of milk and milk products should be regular in the diet of children.
Have Citrus Fruits:
Children should have plenty of citrus fruits like – oranges, grapes, lemon etc. and vegetables like – cabbage, capsicum, cucumber, mint leaves etc., which provide more of vitamins C and B complex, to help children keep healthy, fit and active.
Iron Rich Diet:
Diet should include regular iron rich foods such as soya bean, mint, mustard, lotus stem, beet root, banana, water melon, rice flakes, apricot etc.
Avoid Fatty Food:
Deep fried food or high fatty food such as butter, processed cheese, chocolates, potatoes, preserved foods, cakes, puddings etc. should be avoided or taken in moderation.
Give Incentives To Children:
Parents should encourage children by giving them incentives. Parents should fix up days in a week for the children to let them have one meal of their choice if the follow their regular healthy food regime throughout the week.
Bust The Stress:
If a child suffers from stress related problems, then he / she should take more of wheat breads, whole pulses, whole grains, whole cereals etc. over other sources of carbohydrates.
Obesity in children leads to many other health problems. Being overweight makes the child more prone to family related or genetic medical problems, which can otherwise be avoided by managing the diet. Therefore it becomes important to control the problem at the right time, and make the children aware of the disadvantages of a sedentary lifestyles and laid back attitude, and at the same time enlightening them about the benefits of a regular exercises and its long lasting effects in controlling the obesity in children.
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