Obesity And Rising Health Problems

Childhood Obesity And Rising Health Problems! Ways To Deal With Junk Food Addiction In Kids

Obesity in children has grown since COVID-19, impacting even children from low-income families living in urban slums. Physicians report that the number of overweight kids has increased. Disrupted routines, more sedentary activity, and changed eating habits are fuelling the surge in obesity and rising health problems. Doctors are addressing this by offering family counseling and customized nutrition regimens as forms of assistance. Nonetheless, many people are unable to access therapy due to ignorance. Improper nutrition that comes with excess weight increases the chances of developing health issues.

Junk Food And Its Detrimental Effect On Health

Junk food has become a major component of children’s diets. The popularity of ultra-processed meals is one of the main causes of youngsters suffering from obesity and rising health problems. A study published in The Lancet claims that since 1990, adult and pediatric obesity rates have skyrocketed globally. Processed food may endanger one’s health by causing diabetes, high cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. 

Dr. Amit P. Ghawade is a consultant pediatrician and Neonatologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Kharghar, Mumbai. He claims that the high-calorie content of junk food makes youngsters more prone to obesity. The dangerous chemicals and preservatives included in processed meals can contribute to the early start of obesity-related conditions. This includes kidney and liver issues and even some forms of cancer in later life.

Junk food is primarily composed of sugar and salt, with minimal to no fiber. It can negatively affect brain development, alter immunological responses, disrupt gastrointestinal health, and exacerbate behavioral problems in children. Eating excessive sweets and fatty foods can result in digestive issues and a weak immune system. Excess consumption of these foods may induce melancholy, anxiety, and aggression. It can upset the balance of beneficial bacteria in the stomach. Studies reveal that the impact of fast food may make kids susceptible to mental health issues. 

Ways To Tackle Obesity And Rising Health Problems In Children

The IAP is urging parents to take preventive measures against childhood obesity and rising health problems. During a World Obesity Day conference, medical professionals emphasized the value of forming healthy habits at a young age, stressing the use of a basic but impactful strategy known as the 5210 Rule. To raise healthy and active children, the rule identifies five essential elements for parents to zero in on. It involves providing a total of five portions of fruits and vegetables and restricting screen time to two hours each day. It further included an hour of sporty activity per day and avoiding sugar-filled drinks. 

Even before birth, there are many risk factors and reasons for childhood obesity and rising health problems. If only one parent is fat, the child’s odds of being obese are 40%. However, the likelihood doubles when both parents are obese. A child born under 2.5 kg or above 4.5 kg has a higher chance of developing obesity. Physicians advise against smoking, formula feeding, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy weight gain to prevent obesity in mothers. They advise practicing reading nutrition labels on food, responsive feeding techniques, and only breastfeeding for at least two years.

Teaching kids about the benefits of whole foods at an early age is crucial for fostering long-lasting healthy eating habits. Parents can creatively prepare nutritious and tasty meals that are more appealing to kids than unhealthy snacks. This will help youngsters who are dealing with obesity and rising health problems. Given that kids frequently imitate their parents’ behavior set an example for them by choosing healthy foods over bad ones. Offering healthier snack alternatives, including nuts, popcorn, or fruits, may aid kids fight cravings for sugary or salty foods. Cutting back on screen time can also help reduce the amount of processed snacks kids eat. Proper eating habits must be established at home to develop children’s healthy connection with food.

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