What is Childhood obesity?
Childhood obesity is a pretty common thing in today’s society. It is a serious health condition that poses a huge risk to children.
Childhood hood obesity could be caused by so many factors. Some of the causes are family history, psychological factors, or lifestyle. The most common ones are lifestyle and diet. Many children often eat a lot of fat, sugar, and salt. Many parents pay little to no attention to the kind of food and/or snacks consumed by their children.
The effects of childhood obesity are numerous. Not only does it affect your child’s physical health but it also damages their mental health and social skills. Children deemed obese lack confidence in themselves and became withdrawn from their friends and family. This ultimately could lead to depression and self-harm.
How do you know if your child is obese?
People often make the mistake of equating fat to mean obese.
The best way to know if your child is obese is to get a diagnosis. Alternatively, you can use the BMI measurement to determine if your child is obese.
BMI means Body Mass Index, used to determine weight status.
The measurement of BMI has a simple formula: Body weight (kg) divided by height (m) raised to the power of 2.
For example, a person weighing 40 kg, height 125 cm or 1.25 m.
To measure the BMI = 40 / (1.25×1.25) = 25.60 kg/m².
After getting your answer, you then compare it with standard values.
- BMI values less than 18.5 – 22.9 kg/m² are considered “normal.”
- A BMI between 23.0 – 24.9 kg/m² is considered “overweight.”
- A BMI greater than 25 kg/m² is considered “obese.”
What should parents do to prevent their children from becoming obese?
As a parent, your child’s health rests in your hands. You should do all that is required to ensure that your child is always in good health.
While you cannot be 100% responsible for how your child turns out, you can manage your child’s health and help avoid obesity.
Here are a few things to do :
1. Feed your child a proper diet consisting of all 5 food groups
Eating food from all 5 food groups is important to help children stay healthy.
Your child’s diet must contain the right amount of each class of the food. You should incorporate a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet.
When treating them to snacks, ensure you do not overindulge them in sweet and fatty snacks.
Feed your child with proteins such as meat and eggs. Ensure your child constantly hydrates by giving them enough water and fruit juice.
2. Introduce your child to exercise and outdoor activities
A great way to keep your child fit and healthy is by allowing them to engage in many outdoor activities.
It could be them running around or playing. Such activity lets them burn a significant amount of fat and provides the required amount of ‘exercise’ needed to stay fit.
You could also introduce your child to sports like football, track race, basketball, etc. You can join them to make it more exciting for them to participate.
While there’s no harm in being fat, being obese is a whole new situation. As parents, you shouldn’t take childhood obesity lightly. The effects on your child could be disastrous.
Play your part in avoiding obesity by providing them with a well-balanced diet and ensuring they aren’t eating a lot of unhealthy snacks.