Obesity, which was once restricted to adults has slowly passed on to kids as well. And, the reasons for child’s obesity are plenty. There are plenty of researches being done to see what is it that is contributing to child’s obesity, and I have picked up the first three reasons which are most talked about, which are:
Junk food: French fries, chips, carbonated beverages, cakes and pastries and other vending machine snacks lead to obesity in kids. Rather than attending kids birthday parties serving healthy homemade nutritious food, we are forced to send them to birthday parties organized at Mcdonald’s or Pizza Hut, which changes their food preference.
Whenever the child finishes writing his/her exam, as parents we try to pamper him by treating with junk food. Whenever we step out to eat, most of our outings contain junk food. So, right from small age, the kids are getting exposed to eating wrong which makes them obese. Junk food is one of the biggest reasons for the new age kids to fall prey to obesity.
Can we do something about it?
Of course, we can make healthy choices by following a few tips:
- Role model: As parents and especially moms are the biggest role models for kids. Kids invariably tend to copy their parents doings and habits.
A famous saying goes, ‘What you teach your child, he may or may not do it, but what he sees you doing, he will surely do it.’
So, in order to inculcate the best eating habits, the change has to start from you. Rather than ordering pizza, burger, or cooking maggi, order interesting delicious salad or roasted oil free snack recipes. The best way to eating healthy as a practice is to learn to cook new dishes which are nutritious and delicious as well.
- Sedentary lifestyles: Two decades ago, you would find kids playing out on streets and the parks would be filled with kids who would play for hours together. But, now due to excessive study pressure, the kids are forced to leading a boring sedentary life.
A normal day in the life of a school goer is 8 hours of schooling, 2 hours of commute, 2 hours of tuition, 1 hour of eating and TV watching and then sleeping. Kids don’t have time for free play. Isn’t that very upsetting?
And, such sedentary lifestyles create boredom and stress in their lives. They don’t feel like enjoying life to the fullest. And, do you know that stress is the biggest contributor to obesity. When you are feeling unhappy, your body stops consuming the energy rather it goes in a power saving mode. The body is preparing itself to fight with unfortunate circumstances. So, poor mental health is also a big contributor of obesity in kids.
- Stress: Too much study pressure and staying away from working parents for long hours adds a lot of stress to kids. Kids must be provided with healthy environment with a lot of freedom to learn from life.
Please make sure to involve at least 2 hours of play or some other physical activity in your child’s life. This will keep your child physically and mentally active and will help in burning all the extra calories. Moreover, regular playing makes your child happy and much more resilient by nature.
In today’s Times of India, there is a blog post suggesting that single kids are more prone to becoming obese. Well, the possible reason is that single kids get undivided attention of parents, and they are a bit more pampered. Actually, obesity has got the least to do with having one or more kids. What you eat and what you do to burn out all that you have eaten, defines the body weight balance.
So, your child’s health depends a lot on how you design the atmosphere around yourself. So, now pledge to stay happy and eat healthy, as this is what will be passed on to your kids too.