Helping Children with Weight Issues
Obesity is an issue world over, especially amongst children. The most profound role is played perhaps by the diet these days. Processed and junk food has become staple in every household. Sugary beverages have become necessary accompaniment to each meal.
Then, children have developed special fondness for the fried and fast food. Candies and chocolates are special treats that every child wants. All these poor dietary choices have replaced healthy foods.
Consequently, children end up eating calorie rich but nutrient deficient meals. Since they do not get good nutrients that fortify their bodies, they end up getting sick more often. Foods like sugar also weaken the immune system, so parents have to regularly visit their Child specialist in Lahore.
The lack of physical activity makes the situation even worse. Stationed in front the television and the gaming screens, children then do not have an outlet to burn these extra calories consumed.
As more calories are being consumed than burnt, body stores the surplus. This then leads to children becoming obese.
Complications of childhood obesity
Childhood obesity is a dangerous condition. It increases the risk of chronic ailments like diabetes, heart disease and asthma. When the body has to bear excess weight, joint problems also ensue. Moreover, childhood obesity has high probability of following the individuals through their adulthood as well.
Obesity not only causes physical problems, but also has huge emotional toll. People who are obese are ostracized by the society. They are more likely to suffer from ridicule and censure by the people.
Children struggling with weight problems are more likely to suffer from bullying. Their already fragile emotional state during adolescence is further tested by the behavior of their peers. They then might turn to food for support, exacerbating the situation.
Thus, parents should take timely steps to ensure the wellbeing of their children. Rather than making light of the situation, they should take steps to help their child with the weight loss.
Helping children lose weight:
- Instill healthy eating habits
Preach to your child the importance of healthy eating. Children should be given healthy food for the sake of their growth and development, alongside weight control. Parents have to serve as an example here.
You cannot expect your child to eat broccoli as you gorge down pizza. Instead, make holistic changes in your house. Everyone should cut back on the unhealthy food items.
You might have to up your culinary skills as you make food at home. Try making healthy foods sound not ‘boring’; cut foods in different shapes, give healthy beverage with exotic straw, make the plate colorful.
Also, limit eating out, as most places do not consider the caloric content of food. Remove sodas from the dining table. Make sure that your child eats healthy breakfast as people who eat breakfast are less likely to be fat.
As you embark on the journey, try taking baby steps that are permanent. Being too strict all of a sudden is not correct approach. It increases chances of falling off the wagon. Instead, take it slow, but steady.
- Get them moving
Exercise is very important to ensure that children are burning calories and growing properly. Take your children to the park and enjoy family games. Give your child chores to do around the house so that they do not remain sedentary.
Rather than watching TV together, you can play games that involve activity, even if minimal, like dancing, hide and seek etc. You can also take children swimming and play pool games. Many video games are now available that have motion sensors that then involve people to be active. Opt for such games rather than ones that involve merely using controller.
- Portion control
Portion control helps in ensuring that child does not consume unnecessary calories. Thus, check the portion size and serve accordingly. A good tip to cut back on the extra calories is by using smaller plates. This way, there is only so much that the child can add to their plate.
Buy smaller serving sizes of dishes and packaged food, so that children eat only the required amount and not excess.
- Cut back on screen time
More screen the kids use, less likely they are to be active. Thus, cut back on the screen times of the children. As one tends to overeat when using screen, do not allow eating in front of the television. Replace screen time with playground time or some other activity that encourages children to be out and about.
- Be a role model
If you want your child to lose weight, you must serve as a role model. This involves purging the entire house of trans fats. Parents should also exercise more and cut back on screen time. Not only is leading by example more effective, but the sense of comradery also helps your child feels less isolated in the weight loss journey.
Word of caution
Just because your child is chubby does not mean they are necessarily overweight. Each age group has different BMI requirements. Moreover, genetics also play an important role. Many children are big boned, which may cause their weight on the scale to be greater, but that does not make them obese.
Therefore, ascertain first if your child needs help with weight loss before worrying about them. Your Child specialist in Islamabad can help in this regard. Decide on the lifestyle changes accordingly then. Cutting back on the nutrition can also have grave impact on the growth of the child, so make this decision considering all facets.