Child obesity is one of the serious threats faced by the nations through out the world. Obesity rate among the children is increasing continuously. A recent study has proved that the number of children suffering from obesity have almost tripled from the past thirty years. This epidemic is spreading even in the rural areas. Even rural kids are becoming the victims of obesity these days. Almost 2 out of 5 kids are overweight. According to a recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) most of the kids are suffering from several diseases that generally affect the adults. And the culprit behind this is found out to be child obesity.
What is child obesity and why is it caused?
Obesity is another name for the extra fat in the body. This obesity is seen among children also and this is called as child obesity. Children who have greater body mass index (BMI) are known to suffer from child obesity. Basically, a part of the food is stored in the body. Fats are also stored in the body in special cells called adipocytes. These fats are important for the body as they help in a process called thermogenesis, that is production of heat. This process is important to maintain the body temperature. These fat cells also act as a source of energy during starving. But extra fat in the body is also dangerous. Fat cells have a tendency to release certain hormones and chemicals that are responsible for several diseases. These chemicals when present in smaller quantities are not harmful but when present in large amounts trigger several diseases like cancers.
Children who are obese are also vulnerable to several other diseases like Pickwickian syndrome, Sleep apnea, Osteoarthritis, Gout and gouty arthritis, Gallstones, Cancer, Congestive heart failure, Heart attack, Stroke (cerebrovascular accident or CVA), High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), High blood pressure (hypertension), Type II (adult-onset diabetes), Insulin Resistance, etc. Most of these diseases are also life threatening.
The two main reasons for the causal of child obesity are unhealthy diet and irregular life style. Unhealthy diet which includes high calorie foods like burgers, diet cokes and fried foods are consumed by the kids. These foods have no nutritious value. All these calories consumed are stored as fat in the body. Since most of the kids are not involved in any kind of physical activities all these extra calories that are consumed are not shed. Other possible reasons for child obesity are heredity and internal health problems.
How can fitness help in preventing child obesity?
Every person knew that to lead a healthy life one has to be physically fit. Fitness can ward off any kind of disease. Fitness solutions can also help in preventing obesity. To remain fit one must inculcate good eating habits and also should participate in the physical activities. Parents should take care of the diet of the kid. A good diet which would help to remain fit should contain the following things.
Vegetables and fruits having low calories and necessary nutrients that are required by the body must be a part of the diet.
Lots of water should be also included in the child obesity diet. Water helps in flushing out the toxins from the body. It also hydrates the skin and reduces hunger by giving a feeling of satiety or hunger.
Diet should not include Soft drinks or aerated drinks, Fruit juices, sports drinks, chips, crackers and other fried foods.
Small frequent meals must be given to the kids that contain fewer calories.
Parents should be aware of the food portion sizes consuming by their kids.
Another important thing to be followed to remain fit is to exercise. Children must be encouraged to exercise daily to remain fit and to prevent obesity. Cardiac exercises listed below are effective in shedding the extra calories gained by the children.
- Brisk walking
- Aerobic Dancing
- Playing outdoor games
- Rock climbing
Apart from this, children must also be encouraged to participate in activities like sports. This way they will enjoy and at the same time burn all the extra fat present in the body.