According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of overweight or obese infants and young children (0 to 5 years) gradually increase from 32 million globally in 1990 to 41 million in 2016. The rate of overweight and obese children live in developing countries has been increase more than 30% greater than developed countries.
Obesity in children is associated with board range of serious health complications and an increased risk of having a premature onset of illness, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other heart disease. Overweight and obese in childhood can lead to low self-esteem and depression.
One among best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the eating and exercise behavior of your whole family. Avoiding and treating childhood obesity helps to keep your children’s health in present and the forthcoming.
Lifestyle problems: less activity and too many calories from food and drinks are the key contributors to childhood obesity. However, genetic and hormone factors might play a main role as well for some children.
There are many factors increase children’s risk of becoming overweight including:
- Lack of exercise
- Family factor
- Psychological factors
- Socioeconomic factor
Complication of being childhood obesity
Childhood obesity can have adverse effects to your children’s physical, social and emotional well-being.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Sleep disorders
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Bone fracture
- Some cancers (endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer)
Social and emotional complications
- Low self-esteem and being bullied
- Behavior and learning problems
Prevention of childhood obesity
Supportive policies, environments, school and communities are fundamental in shaping parents’ and children’s choices, making the heathier choice of foods and routine exercise or physical activity with accessible, available, and affordable.
For infant and your children
Following to WHO recommends:
- Early start of breastfeeding within one hours of birth
- Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of the life
- Introduction of nutritionally adequate and safe complementary (solid) foods at 6 months together with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.
- Do not allow television or screen time for children younger than 2 years old
School-aged children and adolescents should
- Limit energy intake from total fats and sugars
- Increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts
- Engage in regular physical activity (Remark: 60 minutes per day)
- Limit television and other screen time to less than 2 hours per day for children older than 2 years old
In addition, you should be certain to bring your children to see the healthcare providers for well-child checkups at least once a year. At the time you visit, the healthcare providers measure your children’s weight and height, calculate their BMI (body mass index). Your children are at risks of becoming overweight, if their result illustrate an increase in their BMI or percentile rank over one year.
World Health Organization. (2019, September 23). Retrieved May 2020, from Facts and figures on childhood obesity: https://www.who.int/end-childhood-obesity/facts/en/
Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2020, from Childhood obesity: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/childhood-obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20354827