Ways To Prevent Obesity & Diabetes In Kids

Wellcure

Wellcure

10:35 AM | 24-09-2020

  • India is home to about 97,700 children with type 1 diabetes mellitus. (Says a study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism)

 

  • About 5% of children and adolescents, between 5 years and 19 years are overweight. Almost one in 10 children, between 5 years to 9 years, are pre-diabetic.  (Indian government’s Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey released in Oct 2019)

 

  • Depression and anxiety amongst kids and teens are increasing at an alarming rate.

These statistics are grim, but they are the reality that our kids are living.

Childhood obesity and diabetes are ‘Lifestyle Disorders’, which means that they are the result of a wrong lifestyle. Poor dietary and living habits are wreaking havoc on our kids’ health.

What Does It Mean?

  • Obese kids are at higher risk of hypertension, osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, respiratory problems, emotional disturbances, and some cancers.

  • 2 in 3 obese kids will remain obese in adulthood, and be at risk for adult lifestyle diseases. 

What Are The Real Causes Of Obesity & Diabetes In Kids?

According to the Indian Journal of Public Health, these are the culprits:

Dietary Causes:

  • Shorter duration of breastfeeding or no breastfeeding

  • Easily available calorie-dense food / Junk food

  • Increased consumption of sweet & fatty/fried snacks

  • Consumption of dairy, eggs and animal products

Lifestyle Causes:

  • Motorized transport / Mechanization of day-to-day activities

  • Reduced outdoor play

  • Decreased duration of sleep (<8.5 h/day) 

  • Increased television viewing (>3 h/day) 

  • Tremendous societal pressure on academic performance. 

What Could You Be Doing Wrong?

  • Wrong Foods: If your child keeps munching on processed & junk foods then he/she could be at a higher risk of developing lifestyle disorders.

  • Less Physical Activity: If the child is consuming more calories and spending much lesser of them, he is highly likely to gain unhealthy weight.

  • Poor Sleep Schedule: Does your child have a fixed bedtime and routine? It is crucial for kids to have enough hours of restful sleep. It promotes their physical & mental health.

  • Too much Screen-time: WHO recommends a screen-time of less than an hour for 4-5 years old. How much time does your child spend in front of screens?

“Improving physical activity, reducing sedentary time and ensuring quality sleep in young children will improve their physical, mental health and wellbeing, and help prevent childhood obesity and associated diseases later in life,” says Dr. Fiona Bull, program manager for surveillance and population-based prevention of noncommunicable diseases, at WHO.

If the above sounds similar to you, it is time to do something about it and not wait for a chronic diagnosis to happen to your kids.

What Can You Do To Prevent Obesity & Diabetes in Kids?

  • Increase Intake Of Natural Foods: Fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains are rich in fiber as well as nutrients that are essential for healthy growth and prevention of lifestyle disorders. They are best consumed in their natural, & organic form. You can learn interesting ways or recipes to feed your kids healthy foods.

  • Decrease Intake Of Junk Food: Processed foods that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and preservatives are dangerous to kids’ bodies. Learn to make healthy and tasty snacks for kids at home, using natural ingredients. This will satiate their cravings while keeping them healthy.

  • Encourage Physical Activities: Indulge them in outdoor and indoor games & activities. Set aside time from your daily schedule to play with your kids. This will keep them interested in active play.

  • Limit Screen-Time: Have a cut-off time of 30 minutes or less, at a stretch, for watching TV, playing games, or mobile viewing. This way, you can divide 1 hour of screen time into 2 sittings during 24 hours, which will reduce sedentary time & eye-strain, both.

  • Don’t Force-Feed: Let your child decide how much he/ she wants to eat. Let them eat only when they are hungry. This will prevent them from eating food ‘just like that’ or ‘when they are bored’, which is a very healthy habit to develop at an early age.

  • Stop ‘Rewarding’ them with food: Develop the habit of ‘eating to live’, not ‘living to eat’. 

  • Lead By Example: Kids ‘see’ what parents eat and they follow. You start eating and cooking healthy. It will get replicated to the whole family.

Healthy habits start early. Right food and lifestyle habits in kids are the foundation of healthy, happy, and responsible adults.  

If you need guidance and support in cooking healthy foods for kids and developing good lifestyle habits in them, then we are starting our 7-day program ‘De-Junk The Kids’ from 25th September. Join at the earliest. 

The sooner you start, the easier it will be to teach your kids to eat and live healthily!

What Kids Eat Today Makes Their Tomorrow!

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Disclaimer: The health journeys, blogs, videos and all other content on Wellcure is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered a ‘medical advice’ ‘prescription’ or a ‘cure’ for diseases. Any specific changes by users, in medication, food & lifestyle, must be done under the guidance of licensed health practitioners. The views expressed by the users are their personal views and Wellcure claims no responsibility for them.


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