5 Top Tips to prevent Obesity in Children
January 28, 2019
In today’s article, we look at practical methods we can take to help prevent obesity in children.
Childhood obesity has become an increasing global problem affecting both developed and developing countries.1
The world Health Organization (WHO) estimates that as at 2016 over 41 million children below the age of five (5) were obese -with almost half of this number living in Asia and a quarter living in Africa2.
An obese child is a child with weight greater than the healthy weight for his or her height and age thereby, posing health risks.
Obesity is abnormal, excessive fat accumulation that presents a health risk.World Health Organisation
Your health care provider can diagnose obesity in your child during your well-baby visits.
Keeping track of the weight and size of older children is also important using home scales or at the clinic.
Neglecting to treat this condition can increase their risk of various conditions including cardiovascular disease, psychological consequences and obesity in adulthood.
Prevention is better than cure and this saying is applicable to obesity in children3.
Effective prevention of obesity in your young child involves tackling those things that cause obesity in the first place.
The causes of obesity in children could be hereditary and behavioural; while social, economic and environmental factors also come into play.4
Some people are prone to obesity or weight gain because of certain characteristics in their family. Regardless, some proactive interventions can help adjust that tendency to carefully control weight gain.
Learned behaviour right from childhood can affect the choices people make leading to weight gain and obesity.
As it is not possible to change genes, prevention of obesity in children involves establishing healthy behavioural practices that help your child maintain increased physical activity and intake of a healthy diet.
This can be done in different ways but we have summarised five (5) methods, which have been shown to be effective in preventing obesity in young children in the list below.
According to WHO, in order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, and cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers:
*For this age group, bone-loading activities can be performed as part of playing games, running, turning or jumping.
In concluding, we believe that while obesity has many factors contributing to its cause as mentioned above, adopting some of these measures described on a regular basis will help in reducing the risks and to maintain a healthy weight.
Pandita, A., Sharma, D., Pandita, D., Pawar, S., Tariq, M., & Kaul, A. (2016). Childhood obesity: prevention is better than cure. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy, 9, 83-9. doi:10.2147/DMSO.S90783
Kar, S. S., Dube, R., & Kar, S. S. (2014). Childhood obesity-an insight into preventive strategies. Avicenna journal of medicine, 4(4), 88-93.
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care.
The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly
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