Childhood Obesity

“Healthy food is a treat to your body, feed it wisely!” this quote signifies how health is considered the most significant aspect of an individual’s life. Who doesn’t dream of a healthy and fit body? Still, many are not lucky enough to enjoy disease free, fit, and fine body.

What is Obesity?

Obesity, as the name denotes, is being overweight and having fewer physical movements, where the body can burn its excess calories. The less movement and more food intake lead to putting on body weight. The excess amount of food intake leads to the accumulation of excess body fat, which keeps on increasing if not controlled with time resulting in catching risk of many diseases. Thus obesity is a more and more complex term in the context of health. The more healthy should be the diet, the less is the chance of putting on the body weight.

Role of Exercise and Physical Activities for the Healthy Body:

Exercise plays a vital role in our life. A healthy body is always determined by which sort of physical fitness one chooses to remain in shape and maintain the body weight. Various types of physical fitness one can choose, like yoga, Aerobics, Meditation, Dance, Gymming, Simple exercises, etc. Our body works on the principle of what quality of food we are offering to it. The biggest mistake lies in the fact of how far an individual treats their body in the form of dietary intake, amount of body movements, etc.

The more fat intake there is more risk of catching diseases where the body and mind suffer simultaneously. Diseases like heart attack, cancer, liver damage, increase in cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Diabetes are more prone to those who have not maintained their body weight.

Obesity can affect people from any age group. But youngsters are more prone to the risk of getting the complex condition of health issues. This is generally due to various factors like genetic environment, medical reactions, stress, hormonal imbalance, lack of adequate sleep, etc.

Role of Healthy vs Unhealthy food:

There is always a big gap between good food (healthy food) and bad food (unhealthy food), i.e. junk food. Youngsters are more prone to the taste of junk foods that come in attractive packages and taste, but are most dangerous and involve great risk of increasing blood pressure, cholesterol, Diabetes, and many health-related issues. Sugary food, pizza, burgers, fried food, Chinese food, cakes, pastries, sodas, soft drinks, etc. are all foods that come in the category of junk or unhealthy food. A healthy diet includes nuts, seeds, fruits, beans, fibre-rich foods, oats, porridge, leafy and green vegetables, excluding potatoes, brown rice, pulses, etc.

Symptoms of Obesity:

Being overweight is in itself the term for obesity wherein the Body Mass Index that is BMI increased to 30, or higher we are in 18-25 approx is considered to be the average weight status the young children are more into the risk of catching these diseases as there are various factors involved in this in the beginning. Still, later on, the weight keeps on increasing. The body’s resistance to the diseased and decreasing; in other words, the immune system that’s working slowly as the body exercise and movement is fewer opacity increases with the increase in body weight. Also, read 30 Days Complete Month Diet Plan for Weight Loss.

Factors Involved

1. Heredity

Heredity or genetics is the primary factor involved in defining the term obesity. Obese people or young children inherit the issue of being overweight from their parents or their family history sometimes. They usually don’t pay attention to their early growth years, and this leads to their body weight to increase slowly and gradually leading to obesity.

2. Change In Lifestyle

The lifestyle of individuals plays a significant role in determining their health and body fitness. The environmental factors are all involved in keeping the lifestyle positive or negative for an individual. A good diet is always required daily to maintain body fitness, a healthy mind, and a soul.

3. Consumption of Junk food

Obesity is also accompanied by the stress an individual put on healthy or unhealthy food. Junk food, as stated above like chips, pizza, burgers, etc. have a huge dietary impact on individuals’ good health, and it starts with the young children and their habit of eating the right nutrition.

4. Inappropriate Habits Of Drinking, Smoking, etc.

Youngsters generally fall into the wrong activities of smoking and drinking alcohol that creates severe health effects, not on their body but also their eating habits. They may put on their body weight due to this and can fall into the trap of various health issues.

5. Vegetarian diet vs Non-Vegetarian diet

Consumption of excess Non-Vegetarian food can also lead to increased body weight as a Vegetarian diet is simplified and easy to digest. This healthy diet may become complex if a vegan diet is replaced by the Non-Vegetarian diet completely and regularly.

6. Other factors like Stress, lack of adequate sleep also leads to the issue of obesity. These environmental factors have direct or indirect effects on the body of an individual.

7. Social Issues

Due to a change in lifestyles and increased work pressure, an individual often ignores their health. Generally, youngsters often enjoy the company of peer groups and friend circles, wherein they don’t choose what is right and what is not for their diet, and they eat food that is not suitable for their body. This generally leads to their increased body weight and less physical activities.

8. Medications And Their Reactions

Sometimes youngsters or individuals are on some medications and that medications may lead to side effects. The side effects may include hormonal changes that generally lead to an increase in body weight and obesity.

9. Gut Bacterial Infections

Gut infections are generally due to the presence of bacteria that leads to difficulty in reducing weight; even a person is willing to do. They are very dangerous as in some cases treatments are required for the reduction of body fat.

Don’t miss the Surprising and Interesting Myths busted about Weight Loss.

Youngsters and their Eating disorders

Generally, students and young children who live in PGs, hostels, or far away from their homes have less time to make hygienic home meals for themselves. This is generally due to a shortage of time and resources. So they have easy access to go for canteens, buy packed foods or readymade foods from outside. This consumption of unhealthy food is though easy to make but has long term effects on the body.

Screen Time Vs Real-Time Playing

Youngsters and children tend to sit in front of screens, including T.Vs, Mobiles, Laptops, etc. that also have replaced physical playing activity with virtual activity. Children find it more comfortable to sit in one place and enjoy food watching screens than to play outside. Simultaneously, the use of Air Conditioners and coolers excessively for the children as well as elders reduce the resistance power of the body to bear heat and cold. Hence, they find better options to sit at home and play than to go out. There is a lack of interest in outdoor games and sports in children nowadays which was the only source of enjoyment when mobile phones and laptops were not the options. Even during the corona pandemic not only children but also people from all age groups faced difficulty in increasing body weights due to their homestays and work /study from home mode. This has led to more increased cases of obesity. For these various online physical fitness programmes are also available where Yoga, Dance, Aerobics can be practised at home only safely and comfortably.

Fat Shaming

Fat shaming is the term where overweight or obese people are being humiliated or made fun of for their body weight. It is the action where obese people are not treated socially properly, and usually, people mock and laugh at their body size, thus leading to their psychological and emotional breakdown. Sometimes this fat-shaming comes as a positive action force to them as they take this mockery as a challenge to control and change their lifestyles.

Obesity and Its ill Effects

Being overweight is not a choice, but it’s a difficult situation to deal with genuinely. Obesity has several health issues related to it. Diabetes ( increase in body glucose level ) due to fewer movements and no physical activities.

  • Heart strokes and diseases
  • Hormonal changes
  • Delay in menstruation in women
  • Sexual problems, infertility, etc.
  • Digestive issues, Gut infections
  • Cancers, ulcers, etc.
  • Sleep issues
  • Reduced life span
  • Acne problems
  • Joint pains, Osteoarthritis.
  • Cholesterol
  • High or Low Blood Pressure
  • Delay in Pregnancy
  • Psychological issues like depression and instability in mind due to excessive thinking.
  • Social issues like isolation from the peer groups, a sense of guilt and shame, etc.

How Can Obesity Be Controlled?

Obesity leaves behind various psychological, emotional, social issues. Since prevention is better than cure, various precautions can be taken into consideration-

Exercising regularly, Brisk walking for at least half an hour in the morning and evening is the best option. Jogging and running are also one of the ways to add to the fitness schedule. In young children, outdoor games and activities should be the prime focus if there is the availability of space Badminton, cricket, football, etc. Can be played. Movements should be more to remain active and keep going. Gym, Dance, Yoga, Aerobics are all simultaneous options to reduce calories and burn excess fats from the body.

A healthy diet, including short meals and a high fibre-rich food, can help in reducing weight easily. Pulses, fruits, green and leafy vegetables, brown rice, beans, nuts, etc. should be the main focus. Also, more liquids like homemade soups can work wonders. All flour purposes (maida) should be avoided as much as possible and multigrain flour can be a better option.

  • Go vegan is the best option to control the excess fat consumption from Non-Vegetarian food. Though eggs, fish are rich in proteins, excess of everything should be avoided.
  • Check on weight regularly.
  • Meditation is the best medicine to keep body, mind, and soul calm.
  • The obesity treatment should include meditations. Therapies related to weight reduction is also the option if economic issues are not a major concern. Blood Tests and physical exams are done to rule out complications if any.
  • Bariatric surgery: This surgery includes various operations to help the individual reduce weight when exercise and other physical activities to reduce calories does not work. It also helps to overcome the diabetes issues related to it. Cutting on the diet, including sugar, salt intake, juice, soft drinks, soda, Chinese food, etc.

Conclusion

It is rightly said our health is the utmost thing that should be taken into consideration. It is like a track that requires maintenance from time to time. In other words “maintenance”, is the control body check-up and exercise that is required to make it function smoothly and efficiently. Also, Obesity is not the end of life; it can be a new beginning too. Only a positive outlook will make things go on smoothly. Hence a change of attitude is very much required.