One major health threat that all the developing countries are facing today is obesity. One such country which is facing obesity as a major threat is Australia. Australians are becoming the victims of obesity irrespective of their ages. A recent survey has found out that the children obesity in Australia has almost doubled in this decade. The main reason behind this is the sudden change in the life style and the food habits.
What is obesity?
When a person’s body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40 he is said to be obese. Obesity is a medical term for the extra fat in the body. We need some amount of fat to maintain the body temperature and to generate energy while starving. When a person has more and more fat deposited in the body he is said to be obese. Several studies have shown that extra body fat is harmful and can lead to many heath related problems like heart attack, blood pressure, high amounts of cholesterol, diabetes, hepatitis, some types of cancer, etc.
Why is obesity seen in Australian children?
Recent studies have shown that when compared to the olden days, the younger generation children consume more amounts of nutrients and calories. A steep rise of 10% in the consumption rate has been observed. Other than that Australian children enjoy all the facilities offered by a developed country. Their life style involves very less physical activity. These pampered kids are not even allowed to walk half a mile. And very few are found to be interested in the outdoor sports. A majority of the Australian children are found to be interested only in their gadgets and computers. They spend most of the time playing games in their costly cum highly configured gadgets and personal computers. And also they are not restricted from binging on their favorite fast foods like burgers and pizzas. Children in the olden days were provided with meager but nutritious food. But these children have fast foods that have absolutely no nutritious value. These foods have very high amounts of calories which is one of the reasons for making a person obese. Australian parents who are busy most of the time with their respective careers overlook these matters. Instead they spoil their kids by giving them more pocket money. High calorie rich food plus no physical activity is the reason behind the steep increase in the obesity rate among the Australian children. Other possible reason in some cases is heredity. Children are tending to become obese if there is any history of obesity among their ancestors.
What sort of health problems will these kids face because of obesity?
To everyone’s surprise a majority of the obese children in Australia were found to be diabetic. Diabetes is generally seen in adults. It is a condition where in glucose is not accepted by the body cells due to the lack of a hormone called insulin. Because of this glucose remains in the blood thus, increasing the blood glucose levels. Other major problem seen in the obese kids is the blockage of the arteries because of the deposition of the fat n them. This is a very serious problem and may also lead to death due to the blockage. These blockages force the heart to pump the blood with more pressure. This strains the heart and may also lead to heart attack sometimes. Other problems seen in these children are eating disorders like bulimia, orthopedic disorders, liver problems, blockages leading to respiratory problems, sleep apnea, cardiomyopathy and many more.
What should be done to stop this?
First thing that the parents of these obese children have to do is to decide a diet program that will help in preventing the child from putting on weight. It is also necessary to make sure that the child consumes more amounts of water every day. Consulting a dietician in this regard is advisable. They should make sure that their child takes part in all kinds of physical activities. This would help in shedding all the extra weight gained previously. Preventing children from participating in sedentary activities like watching TV, playing video games or sitting in front of the personal computer is also a must. This is one of the useful method for child obesity treatment.