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Tackling Childhood Obesity: 5 Reasons & Tips to Cure

Childhood obesity is one of the biggest aftermaths of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s increasing more than ever. Childhood obesity can lead to serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease later in life. The impact of the pandemic is undeniable because the playful children were suddenly put inside rooms and in front of screens to play, learn, entertain, and whatnot. In this article, I shall talk about reasons and give you tips for prevention of overweight in Children, considering our ever-busy lifestyle. 

My articles are generally a bit longer because I believe it’s important to provide details and make connections with the topic, you, and me. But I am sure you will get to learn a lot from this article, that’s a promise. 

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Childhood Obesity and BMI

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to categorize obesity in children. A BMI at or above the 95th percentile for age and sex is considered obese. This measurement helps to identify children who may be at risk for various health issues associated with obesity. Regular monitoring of BMI can help parents and healthcare providers address any concerns early on.

In India, 8.4% of children are obese and 12.4% of children are overweight. Following habits such as healthy eating by reconsidering food varieties that we give to our children should be our first priority to have a healthy weight. Healthy foods with good fat is a must in daily diet for overall growth and development. 

5 Reasons & Tips to Tackle Childhood Obesity 

1. Sedentary Lifestyle:

The necessity and the system forced our children to stick to screens during the pandemic, and life hasn’t changed much now as kids have become addicted to them, with many already owning their own mobile phones. One of the causes of childhood obesity is watching screens while eating. Read Impact of Screentime while feeding Babies & Kids. Let’s, for our health, peace, and joy too, spend more time outside with them by taking evening strolls together post-dinner. We can plan weekends and holidays to places where we are physically engaged, such as trekking or a visit to the largest park in the locality, or even going on our own city tours by foot; many cities have historians who arrange them, and this helps us to get to know our own city well. If you are a Bangalorean or a Mysorean, do check out Gully Tours.

2. Consumption of Packaged Foods:

For convenience, we all started relying more on packaged foods, and this habit has persisted. Let’s become more mindful about what we buy by reading labels, avoiding products high in fats, sugars, etc., and planning our purchases with a shopping list to prevent stocking up on junk foods. Remember, it is ok to go out and have lunch or dinner once a week, but stocking up at home can lead to overeating. Check out our blog for simple and quick recipes for healthy snacks, and follow us on Instagram, where I personally share my passion for cooking and numerous recipes. Also, consider visiting the TOTS AND MOMS website for chemical-free snacks made with millet, jaggery, dates, and other healthy ingredients.

Tackling Childhood Obesity - 5 Reasons & Tips to Cure

3. Limited Physical Activity at School:

What you ask is what you get… Isn’t it as simple as that? We as parents are so focused on our children’s academic growth and want them to focus on money-making from an early age, hence forgetting the basic rule of nature: eat well, exercise well, and sleep well to be healthy. When the Unit Head at my 5-year-old son’s school boasted about starting to teach them Hindi and Kannada from next year, I insisted on a mandatory routine of daily sunlight time and free playtime. They complained that it delayed their schedule as it takes time to go to the playground and come back and also cited concerns about the lawn being hampered by their footsteps. I insisted that they must utilize the acres of space shown to us during the joining process, correctly. Let us request our children’s schools to allow them to play under the sun for an hour daily without any planned activities, and if they can’t arrange for training in professional sports, we are perfectly fine with that.

4. Celebrations Need to Change:

Birthdays, holidays, and weekends are often filled with sugary treats and junk foods. Consider this: if my child has 30 classmates and 40 bus mates, imagine how many times he receives big bars of chocolates each month. And it’s not just his class – with parents overdoing everything for kids nowadays, almost every kid shares chocolate with the whole school, multiplying the sugar intake each time. Let’s make celebrations more inclusive of mindful talks, games, and healthy homemade foods. Choose healthier options to share, such as millet laddu or chikki mithai, and why not include savory treats? Don’t forget to check out Tots and Moms Millet Jaggery Cookies as return favors.

5. Marketing & Advertising Influence:

Almost all junk foods have children as the face of the brand. Isn’t it an easy target? The reason is that children are adamant, they have less knowledge of how these foods can hamper their health, we love our children and we can do anything for them. Let’s first stop being drawn to videos shared by brands or influencers and be thoughtful about our needs and selections. Children learn by watching us rather than just hearing from us, so let’s empower them to make smarter choices regarding their diet. I remember a mother asking Dr. Pal – The Gut Health Doctor on YouTube to make a video for her son as he would listen to him rather than her. We personally need to follow influencers who add value to our lives and not those who encourage us to hoard. Tip, unfollow all unwanted people and deactivate suggestions on your social media profiles. 

I truly hope this article helps you understand the impact our lifestyle has on our children, paving the way for a healthier future for them. Let’s embark on this journey together, mindfully and more healthily.

Video: Tackling Childhood Obesity: 5 Reasons and Tips to Cure

Video in Hindi – बच्चो में बढ़ता मोटापा

Video in Kannada – ಮಕ್ಕಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚುತ್ತಿರುವ ಬೊಜ್ಜುತನ

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