Childhood obesity is a global, worldwide problem, which pays great attention to the world health organization (who). According to her statistics, the number of children under 5 years who are overweight has increased from 32 million in 1990 to 42 million in 2013. If you do not take action on this issue, toddlers and children of early school age will massively suffer all the negative consequences of obesity.
What causes childhood obesity?
The reasons for the development of childhood obesity there are several. Every aspect of the environment in which the child exists, can affect its weight. Also important is the period of fetal development and the first months of baby’s life. For example, gestational diabetes (a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy) can lead to weight gain of the child from birth and affects the likelihood of her obesity later in life.
The who argues that it is extremely important to feed children a proper, balanced diet. High-calorie, fatty meals, high-sugar and salt is the way to excess weight. To eat right is difficult enough in high-value useful products and aggressive advertising of high-calorie food and drinks. Children and teenagers most of all are influenced by advertising, which worsens the situation with their food.
There is also a purely mental problem: in some cultures it is believed wrongly that a fat baby is a healthy, and lean – no. Consequently, overfeed kids, what is the first step to obesity.
Another problem is urbanization and the development of digital technologies. The latest mobile devices become more interesting for children than playing outside, so physical activity of the younger generation is sharply reduced. In addition, there is a vicious circle: the extra weight does not allow children to participate in active group games, so they stay home and continue more intensively to fat.
Implications of childhood obesity for future life
Unfortunately, most often childhood obesity is not going away on its own and the person is overweight and after grows. Obesity leads to such health problems that only worsen in the future:
- cardiovascular disease;
- insulin resistance, which is often an early sign of developing diabetes;
- disorders of the musculoskeletal system (osteoarthritis, etc.);
- cancers (breast, colon, etc.).
In the end, obesity is quite possible can lead to disability.
Prevention of childhood obesity
Overweight in a child is quite real to prevent. For this we need to provide her with proper nutrition and regular physical activity.
Also important is the prevention of obesity in babies first year of life. For this reason the who gives the following recommendations:
- Start early breast-feeding – put the baby to breast within the first hour after her birth.
- To do everything possible in order to feed the baby exclusively breast milk in the first 6 months of his life.
- Timely and properly introduce solid foods: from 6 months of age, gradually introducing the necessary products and continuing breastfeeding.
- Do not overfeed the child the milk mixture, if it is artificial or mixed feeding.
With regard to children of younger school age and teenagers, they recommend the following:
- You should limit the consumption of fatty, sugary, salty foods.
- You need to eat more vegetables and fruits.
- Should engage in regular physical activity (at least 1 hour per day).
Childhood obesity is a problem of modern civilization, the consequences of which need to realize. Parents should accustom the child to a healthy way of life, or with her health in the future will be significant problems.