Things you need to know about Child obesity and its prevention

My husband has always weighed close to 90 kgs, but anytime you say that he is overweight in front of my mother-in-law she would say, “Hardly, he just looks like it cause he is wearing something unflattering”, or something similar ….

I understand that this is mom goggles. Of course, every mom/parent wants to see the best in their child. But, here every parent needs to ask themselves a question, “Am I helping or harming my child by being blind to the obvious?”. Yes, we can give more excuses like they are just kids. They don’t need any dieting. Or they are young now; at least let them enjoy life, later they will have to suffer through all this. The intent is not to take away a fun life; it’s just to change it such that the kids can balance fun and healthy habits.

All we need is to open our eyes. These are some basic tests to check if your child is overweight:

  1. Is my child bigger than 50% percent of his/her friends?
  2. Go to this link and check your child’s BMI —  This will clearly explain the category the child is in.

 Now, how do we prevent our child from getting obese, if we can see that they are headed in that direction? Let us understand how anyone’s weight increases. Everyone eats food (input) and burns calories (output). When input is more than output, the person starts gaining weight, so to lose that we just have to reverse the cycle, less input more output.

 Let’s see if can find simple ways to implement it.

  1. Look at our own eating habits. Most often kids pick up eating habits from their parents. fat boy smiling and ready to eat a big hamburger
  2. How? Make a list of all the junk and calorie heavy items that are a part of your regular diet. Most processed foods these days have labels on them to tell you about fats and calories in it. Even in homemade stuff, we need to be especially careful of ALL dairy products and fried foods.
  3. Next, there will be many healthy items that the family loves. Those are your lifelines. Use them. Then, create a list of items that are healthy but not tasty. Fruits and vegetables are the most natural/healthy and many of them have hardly any calories. The whole family must eat more of this and at the end of the meal, use one item from the junk list as a reward. It satisfies your mind that you had something tasty and your stomach that you ate healthy.
  4. Also, it takes human stomach 20 minutes to signal the brain that it is full! So, those 20 minutes if you keep on eating, then actually you are overeating! A simple way to prevent this is stop eating when you are about 70% full. After a while, you will realise that it was enough. Now, working this with a child can be a little more tricky, but what I did was, when I knew that my child is almost full, I would ask them to eat an item that was more on the healthy and less on the tasty side. It worked for me, but every child is unique and we may need to device a strategy based on individual personality.kid-working-out
  5. Lastly, exercise (output). Even simple walking works. Try to get the child involved in any sport or activity the child enjoys. You may have to keep trying till the child finds it, but that way the child has a hobby instead of parents nagging about exercise!

Have a healthy and balanced life!!!




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