Childhood obesity is increasing at alarming rate and it is a matter of concern. Childhood obesity is a serious health issue and can affect both physical and psychological health. Childhood obesity occurs when a child is well above the normal or healthy weight according to his or her age and height. Being overweight or obese in childhood could lead to several health issues in the long run. These include high blood sugar levels, joint pain, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, high cholesterol, asthma and heart diseases. Therefore, it is very important that parents give proper attention to their child’s eating habits and weight for their overall well-being. The primary causes of overweight or obesity in young children are similar to those in adults.
Top 4 causes of obesity in young children:
- Unhealthy eating habits:
Food choices play an important role in maintaining a healthy body weight whether it is children or adults. One of the main reasons your child is overweight is the excessive intake of fatty, junk or processed and sugary foods.
- Sedentary lifestyle:
If your child is inactive and spends a lot of time watching television, playing video games or on other electronic devices, this may lead to weight gain.
- Lack of physical activity:
No physical activity is extremely harmful for your child and can make him obese. Children generally tend to eat sugary stuff or junk food which generally leads to weight gain. But if they are not engaging themselves in some physical activity to burn calories, they tend to become obese or develop some or the other health problem.
Some rare gene disorders can also cause childhood obesity. If it runs in the family, parents need to be even more conscious of making healthy food choices for the whole family.
Yes! Even young children might deal with stress issues. These stress can be personal, parental and family stress. Even these factors could cause obesity in young children. Some children overeat in order to cope with stress or to deal with emotions.
Small lifestyle changes to fight childhood obesity:
- Parents should make sure that children eat balanced meals with high-proteins and fibrous foods
- Snackingis not bad at all. But snacking on unhealthy foods like chips, burger, muffins, pizza can be harmful. So while giving snacks to your children, go for some healthy options like healthy nuts and seeds, protein bars, smoothie, salads, whole eggs or salad
- Children should not indulge in eating processed, junk and fatty foods. Even sweetened beverages are harmful for your kids as they are loaded with preservatives and added sugar. These foods do not provide any nutritional value and can lead to unnecessary weight gain
- Encourage your child to spend lots and lots of time in physical activity
- Limit the screen time of your children
- Ensure that your child sips in adequate water throughout the day as that will help him stay hydrated