Statistics On Obesity In Children: Preventing Childhood Obesity

In today’s modern scenario, rise in childhood obesity is an undeniable fact; as is the fact that children as young as fifteen or sixteen are found to have narrow arteries and high blood pressure. Add to that, the stress of daily grind of school will be a deadly cocktail you definitely don’t want your child to suffer from.

Causes Of Childhood Obesity

Here are some of the causes of childhood obesity:

  • Lack of exercise: It is found that children spend more time playing indoor games and watching television rather burning calories by playing outdoor games.
  • Children nibble unhealthy snacks having high calorie ratio.
  • Fast foods are substituted instead of home cooked meals in many families, fast foods have low nutrition value and they are high in fats.
  • Genetic reasons in some children can be a reason for childhood obesity, but the percentage is much less.

Statistics And Facts On Obesity In Children

  • It is undeniable fact that obesity in children is on the rise all over the world, especially in the developed countries. You may be surprised to know that there are instances where children as young as fourteen and fifteen are found to have narrow arteries and hypertension.
  • Experts opine that obesity in children is running out of control, in America itself the number has increased to 15% in last 30 years. In a survey of 2001, 24% of white children were found to be overweight and 32% of African and Hispanic children were overweight.
  • Whatever may be the reason, be it genetic or bad dietary habits, children have put on considerable weight that warrant immediate attention, and to find a way to curtail obesity in children.
  • Causes of obesity in children such as bad dietary habits: eating junk food and fast food, watching television while eating.
  • Lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle has also taken its toll in increasing obesity in children. And above all lack of sleep or sleep in excess is also responsible for obesity in children.
  • If both the parents are obese, chances of their child to be obese increases. In such cases extra care in eating habits for the entire family, will be effective in controlling obesity in children.

How To Prevent Childhood Obesity?

What are the measures for fighting obesity in kids?

  • Let your child munch on homemade popcorn and fruits when hungry.
  • Let your child eat low fat diet. Meat in moderation as it is important source of protein.
  • Ask your child to drink a fruit juice instead of a can of cola.
  • Do not allow him to watch TV when he is eating.
  • Make it a point that your child plays at least for 1 hour in a day. Let him play outdoor games.
  • The two magic words, exercise and healthy diet can change the way your child looks.
  • Catch them young,
    • Cut down on fat intake.
    • Fish is a better choice instead of meat.
    • Substitute chocolates, pastries with homemade popcorn or fruit.
    • Substitute a can of cola with a glass of fresh fruit juice.
    • Ensure to keep at least one hour as free play time to burn those stubborn calories in obese child.
    • Introduce innovative healthy food that interests the child in the regular diet.

Effects of childhood obesity

These children are more at risk of having high cholesterol level, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Besides these physical effects obesity in childhood can give rise to psychological effects such as low self esteem and social discrimination by their peers.