May 25, 2024

It is said that America tops the obese adult population in the world, which is of course true. However, one seems to overlook the fact that America is also home to the highest population of obese children. If WHO (World Health Organization) is to be believed, our world contains more than twenty million obese kids, most of whom are in the age group of five-eight.

WHO also says that childhood obesity has reached the level of an epidemic in America, so much so that in the past three decades the number of obese American kids has more than tripled. Isn’t your child one of them too? It is time to take control of your kid’s life and help him lead the kind of comfortable and healthy life we would want him to lead. And this is only possible by helping him get rid of the extra pounds.

In fact, if America tops the number of obese kids, even third world countries are not far behind. You would think that an economically backward continent like Africa would have skinny kids because most of their parents are too poor to feed them properly, let alone overfeed them. However, very often our beliefs don’t coincide with reality. Just recently a special task force sent to Africa to gauge the health stats of the people living there encountered more obese kids than malnourished children.

You maybe thinking: why all this hullabaloo about childhood obesity? What is wrong if the belly of your kid if a tad fatter than his peers? The answer is: just like over adults, fat kids are also likely to suffer from harmful diseases such as high blood pressure, type 1 diabetes, hypertension, fatigue, heart diseases, and in some cases, even early death.

Believe it or not, the root cause of childhood obesity has little to do with genetics and more with poor lifestyle habits. Often people add two and two and jump to the conclusion that the kid is fat because of his parents. But that is not true at all. Kids emulate the unhealthy habits of their parents and naturally become fat like them. If you and your kids follow healthy lifestyle habits, both of you would be able to get rid of fat very quickly.

Truth to be told, the onus of the rising levels of childhood obesity lies on parents to a great extent. We parents prefer our kids to have junk foods since they can be easily procured from outside and help save the time we would have spent on cooking. A diet rich in fat and sugar could only make your child fatter and fatter. There is really nothing new to be said about it. Unless you are willing to spend a little time and energy in cooking healthy foods at home, don’t expect your kids to become any slimmer.

Apart from making them eat healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, it is also important that you try to reduce their intake of soda and fizzy drinks.

Controlling the food habits of your kids is only half the battle won, the other half being that of encouraging them to become more active. If you are concerned about your child’s future and wish to offer him a healthy life, you would need to take him away from Xbox and PSPs to outdoor sports such as cricket, basketball, tennis, etc. Encouraging them to indulge in cardiovascular activities such as swimming, dancing, rope jumping, etc., would also help them burn fat and lose weight.

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