Evil effects of childood obesity are many and the first thing that is affected is the quality of life the child will live in future. So Childhood Obesity is a concern for parents because it is the responsibility of parents to take care of their children’s health and train them to practice good dietary habits and engage in activities beneficial for their personal development.
Our attitude towards life and career are primarily influenced by our parents and later on we learn more from society at large. But there are certain habits which we develop since our childhood. And one such habit is dietary habits. Many parents think they need not spend money on food and instead divert the money towards expenditure on clothes etc.
The cheapest food are the fast foods. Foods bought from restaurant do save much of our time but are the culprits in causing severe gastric problems in the adults and as well as children. Since women have to juggle between home and career, they have little time to cook at home. So, low income and middle income families are more likely to depend on foods bought from restaurant as this saves much of their time which goes in extended working hours and in commuting to and fro their workplaces and in carrying out other duties like cleaning up home and clothes, taking care of children and the elderly etc.
Fast foods do not energize children to play and study to the optimum. Obesity settles down only to gradually aggravate health conditions . Obese people are found to suffer from hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and Type II diabetes. When children are hit by one or two of these diseases they show lack of interest in studies and are gripped by depression.
Higher Health Care Costs
To be ill means there is an increase in health-care costs. Obese children are likely to enter into adulthood with obesity-related problems like osteoarthritis, gall bladder disease, fatty liver disease. The others risks are cancer, cardiacvascular problems etc.
Poor Knowledge Base leads to Improper Diet Management
A child’s dietary habit is behavior-oriented. Children with no opportunity to practice good nutrition habits are unable to integrate good nutrition into their daily habits. As a result, whatever they see on TV appeals to them. Food preferences are learned as one grows up. With little exposure to scientific explanation on food and health, children do not understand much of diet management. They should consume diets consisting of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and five to six servings of grains, etc., so that most of their diets would be very close to what is needed.
Not Ready for Change
Obesity makes one inhibited towards change. Obese children are obese because they eat the same type of food again and again and do the same things they do again and again. A child continues to remain obese because the guardian has not been able to induce the child to accept changes. The child has to be put in an environment where the child is excited about embracing the change in his/her lifestyle. It is human tendency to work on familiar ways and pushing a kid to try out something new is all the more difficult for busy parents.
Psychological and Social Effects of Obesity
For obese people emotional suffering is one of the most painful experiences in the American society, which lays importance on physical appearance and often equates attractiveness in women with slenderness. Overweight kids are made to feel ridiculous by others commenting on their bodies. In other words, they are treated as a laughing stock. While playing, classmates of obese children don’t want to play with obese kids because obese children can’t run faster than the ordinary individuals. This causes alienation of the obese kids from the rest and, in turn, induces the child to remain away from others and withdraw into a sedentary lifestyle.
What can be done to prevent childhood obesity?Â
The following steps can be taken to prevent childhood obesity:
- Physical activity should be encouraged among kids as it helps them to have fun and lose weight too. Kids should be encouraged to play with their friends at home and in school. You can also try enrolling them into sports
- Junk foods and fast foods should be avoided. Make sure your kids get healthy food which includes fruits and vegetables. This will incorporate healthy eating habits into them
- Limit the TV viewing and video game playing time, as they promote inactivity
- Be an example by eating healthy and being physically active.
- Parents should show warmth, affection and pay attention to their kids. This will help kids to avoid making food as their source of security
Are Childhood Obesity and Diabetes Related?
Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. An ailment is said so when cells responsible for protection of our body turn hostile. This disorder is of two types. They are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Generally young children, are affected with Type 1 diabetes and adults are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Research already confirmed that obesity in adults and risk of getting Type 2 diabetes are interlinked. But off late, there are reports of Type 2 Diabetes affecting young obese children as well.
Insulin is a hormone that helps to brings down the sugar levels in our body. In Type 1 diabetes patients, the production of Insulin hormone is not enough as par the requirement. In type 2 diabetes patients, the insulin produced is not recognised by the body and is not utilized properly.
In past two decades, Type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically among children between the age group 9 to 17 years
. Obesity is considered to be the main culprit for this undesirable state in the American society.