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One of the biggest problems of our century is childhood obesity. It is a growing issue and research shows that the percentage of overweight children has only doubled in the last decade. The main culprits to this cause are an inactive lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits.
It is important to realize that obesity in children is a serious condition. The perils of this condition not only leads to many health problems but also takes a toll on the emotional well-being of the child. Thus timely intervention by inculcating healthy food habits and exercises has become the need of the hour to protect your child from obesity.
How to Know Whether Your Child is Obese or Not?
Obesity in children occurs when their weight is more than the ideal weight required for their height and age. You can determine whether your child is obese or not by simply consulting your pediatrician. The doctor will rightly diagnose your child by measuring his/her weight and height and computing the body mass index (BMI). The pediatrician will then compare the results of BMI with standard values by further keeping in mind the child’s age and growth pattern.
What to do to Protect Your Child From Obesity?
There are many things you can do to prevent childhood obesity. These include:
- Be a Role Model: Develop good habits in your child by being a fine example yourself. Trust us, your child is learning most of the things by just observing your everyday habits. Thus it becomes crucial for you to eat healthy and live an active lifestyle so that your child picks up the same and keeps obesity at bay.
- Healthy Food Habits: One of the best ways to combat obesity is to ensure that you provide a balanced diet to your child and inculcate healthy eating habits in him/her. Even making small dietary changes can help greatly. Remember not to starve your child. The aim here is to help them shed those extra pounds in the most holistic and safe manner. Also, while charting a balanced diet for kids make sure to include a variety of fruits, pulses and vegetable. Limit intake of sugar and replace junk food that are high in calories and low in nutrients with healthy snacking options.
- Respect Your Child’s Appetite: Do not force them to eat everything on their plate. Children develop the ability to regulate their food as they grow up. So avoid feeding them when they’re not hungry or when they are refusing to eat. Remember, forcing them to do so will only lead them to overeat and eat when they are not hungry – facts that ultimately lead to obesity! To know more about how much food you should feed your child click here.
- Physical Activities: An active lifestyle is the key in maintaining a healthy weight. Encourage your little one to play outdoors and limit TV and video games time at home. Do not push your child to undergo strenuous exercises but find new activities that will hold his/her interest. Having an active lifestyle not only helps in battling obesity in children but it also helps them sleep better and stay alert.
Remember, it is a challenge to gauge obesity in children as their growth does not exhibit a fixed pattern. So, to protect your child from obesity it is crucial that you encourage your child to have healthy food habits and an active lifestyle.