Obesity and over eating in kids
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat accumulates in the body, to an extent that it has negative effects on one’s health.
How do you know if your kid is obese?
You definitely cannot decide this on your own. Not all chubby kids are obese. The BMI (body mass index) of your kid is a factor, which helps to decide if your kid is obese or not. Even if you can calculate the
BMI at home, you still have to consult your pediatrician to get a confirmation.
BMI (kg/m2) Classification (According to WHO). This again is not followed by many health organizations.
But it definitely gives a rough idea, to help you know, if your kid is obese or not.
< 18.50 underweight
18.50–24.99 normal weight
30.00–34.99 class I obesity
35.00–39.99 class II obesity
≥ 40.00 class III obesity
Health hazards due to obesity:
Obesity is not just a single medical condition. It is most likely to lead to a lot of other health issues.
1. High blood pressure
3. Fatty liver disease
5. Psychological effects like – low self-esteem, depression due to constant mockery by friends & family.
7. Bad metabolism
8. Makes them lazy
How to avoid obesity in your kids:
Encourage your child to eat healthy. Instead of junk food, feed ‘alternatives to junk food‘.
Include a lot of fiber in his diet. Fiber helps burn bad cholesterol.
Include a lot of physical activity in his schedule. Allot some “play time” every day. This does not include playing video games or games on the laptop & your phone.
Do not force feed. Consult your pediatrician as to how much food can be given per feed. Find out, how much more is allowed, when your kid asks for more.
Do not make food an activity. For example, if your kid is bored and you cannot play with him, don’t ask him to go & eat to pass his time.
Do not make food a ‘prize’. Do not tell him, that you will give him a cookie if he stops crying, does not throw his toys around, behaves like a good boy etc.
Stop stocking your refrigerator with unhealthy foods like chocolates, processed foods, soda, and processed fruits juice. Put a tab on the junk food they eat at birthday parties.
If your kid is already obese:
Consult a pediatrician and a nutritionist. A nutritionist will help you prepare a diet chart which will help your kid lose weight in a healthy manner.
Follow the above listed tips like physical activity, & putting a tab on the food intake.
Don’t go to extremes while helping your kid lose weight. Starving him for an entire day is not going to make him thin immediately.
Similarly, don’t get upset if your kid ate two bowls of French fries at a friend’s birthday party.
Eating fried foods once in a year or 6 months is not going to make him obese.
Deal with obesity with a lot of patience. It’s emotionally depressing for kids when friends make fun of their physical appearance. Keep motivating them often.
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