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Everything you need to know about childhood obesity

Children in any shape, size or color are deserving of love and care. Adults often find children as the personification of cuteness. They have a tendency of pulling on the cheeks of little kids. However, these chubby cheeks are not always a reason to smile. Sometimes, excessive chubbiness or obesity in a child is a cause of concern. In this article, Dr. Shreya Dubey, the best child specialist in Gurgaon explains everything you need to know about childhood obesity. 

Dr Shreya Dubey can be consulted at the CK Birla Hospital, the best hospital in Gurgaon.

What is meant by childhood obesity?

Childhood obesity is when a child is overweight as compared to the average weight for children his/her height and age. Childhood obesity is a highly serious medical condition. 

In this condition, children are not simply above their normal weight. They are, in fact, extremely obese and at a higher risk of developing several health concerns. 

The health condition that a person develops during childhood as a result of obesity can also continue till he/she is well into adolescence or adulthood. 

What are the causes of childhood obesity?

There are manifold reasons for childhood obesity. Some of the common causes include a family history of obesity, excessive eating, lack of exercise and more. 

Fast food, soft drinks and candies top this list of culprits of childhood obesity. Children who consume more food items rich in fat and sugar are more prone to becoming obese. 

Gorging on food and not exercising sufficiently can lead to obesity in a person at any age. It is because physical activity helps to burn calorie and maintain healthy body weight. However, with the advent of television and online streaming platforms, children are becoming less active. This combination of excessive snacking and not exercising had led to a higher level of childhood obesity. 

Sometimes children become obese as a result of family history. 

Which health conditions are associated with childhood obesity?

Obese children at a higher risk of developing several health conditions. Some of these health concerns include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart diseases
  • Joint pain
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Asthma 
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Skin conditions 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression

How to know if my child is obese?

It is difficult to identify if a child is obese or not. Every child who is a little overweight is not likely to have childhood obesity. You should consult a child health specialist to determine if your kid has this condition. 

Your healthcare provider will assess your child’s physical health. He/she will compute the child’s Body Mass Index (BMI) depending upon the height and age. BMI is an effective tool to check childhood obesity by comparing personal results with standard values. 

How can I prevent childhood obesity?

Prevention of childhood obesity is a matter of lifestyle choices. You should help your child live a healthy life to avoid this health condition. 

Some basic prevention measures include:

More physical activity – You won’t have to take much effort to ask your child to exercise more. You can simply introduce a large variety of games or sports to help your child’s weight loss or to help them maintain the right weight. You can let them join football clubs, cricket clubs, or dance sessions. Several other games like tennis, catch, and even hide and seek are helpful. 

Less screen time – If your children are sitting consistently and watching television or playing games on their phones, then automatically their physical activities are reduced. You should aim to restrict screen time to a minimum of one hour. 

More nutritious meals – In order to avoid this, you would need to replace your child’s snacks with other nutrients. You can add more fruits and vegetables to their meals and help them have a full tummy while also avoiding unhealthy snacks.

It can take the shape of dangerous health conditions. If you are suspicious about the body weight and growth of your little one, you can consult Dr. Shreya Dubey, the best child specialist in Gurgaon. 

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