Obesity is nothing but an accumulation of excessive body fat which increases the risk of health problems. Children who are obese tend to have more than the normal weight for their corresponding height and age. Childhood obesity can lead to diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and breathing problems, such as sleep apnea and asthma. It may even make kids suffer from depression and poor self-esteem.
The prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing lately, due to technology & lifestyle, as kids have too little activity and too many calories from food and drinks. So, it becomes important to follow certain health lifestyle tips by both parents as well kids in order to prevent the child from turning obese. Here are a few tips for parents to understand how childhood obesity can be prevented.
- Limit Screen Time And Gadget Use:
Set a time limit of 30-60 minutes per day of watching television or playing games on screen for your kids. Encourage your kids to go outdoors and play with other kids and toys.
- Ensure At Least 60 Minutes Of Physical Activity Per Day:
It is necessary for children to get up and move around. Being active improves their mental as well as physical health. Also, it helps improve their mood and help them stay joyful.
- Avoid Buying Processed Foods:
Avoid buying and using foodstuff containing a lot of sodium and monosodium glutamate. Also, avoid eating food and drinks having extra sugar.
- Limit High-Calorie Foods
Limit the storage of high-calorie food at home. This will help reduce the intake of high-calorie foods by the kids. Minimizing the intake of high-calorie foods helps you prevent obesity in kids.
- Introduce Healthy Food:
Add healthy foods to your kids’ diet. Include more fruits and vegetables in your young one’s meals and daily diet.
- Drink Plenty Of Water:
Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water. It hydrates your body and helps you stay healthy and fit.
Also Read – What are the causes of obesity?
- Limit Eating Out
Generally, fast foods have a high amount of sodium and fats which contributes to obesity in kids. Hence, avoid or put a limit on eating junk food and fast food as much as possible.
- Have A Good, Sufficient Sleep:
Encourage your children to sleep early and get adequate sleep. Continuous sound sleep is good for the overall health of the kids.
- Nutrition Education:
Nutrition education at a young age helps children develop an awareness of good nutrition and healthy eating habits for a lifetime. So, promote nutrition education among children and encourage them to eat nutritious foods.
- Encourage Kids To Make Healthy Choices:
Do not encourage children to eat everything on their plate, but encourage them to make a healthy choice and have only as much as they can eat. By following these healthy eating habits, kids remain healthy and the food is not wasted.
Now that you know these helpful tips to prevent childhood obesity, make sure you encourage your kids to learn and follow them to enjoy a healthy and happy childhood.
-Written by Dr. Chetali, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah