The growing obesity level amongst children is a cause of concern for parents, teachers and health care professionals. Due to the increasing weight amongst children the health problems like diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure are now increasingly witnessed amongst children. Overweight and obesity are closely linked to type-2 diabetes. Obese children also face the problem of social discrimination.
Control the time your child watches TV:
As watching TV is a sedentary pastime, parents of obese or over weight children must cut TV watching time and encourage children to play outdoors. The children should be encouraged to take up a sport like cricket or tennis where they can spend a lot of time outdoors. If there is no physical activity, the body will not be able to burn calories which will lead to fat accumulation. The children these days are also prone to eating junk food right in front of the TV. They watch TV eating chips, pizzas etc unmindful of the amount of calories they are consuming. Invariably both the parents go for work allowing children to eat the easily available snacks and junk foods from the store. Eating high calorie food that too when they are not hungry also causes obesity in children. The first step lies in improving their eating habits which can itself control obesity to a certain extent.
Computer games and TV are the main reasons that prevent children from going outdoors or taking a walk, and parents must discuss this with their children. Children must be forced to play outdoors in fresh air daily at least for half an hour. Watching too much TV also causes stress among children. Some children tend to over eat because of some problems like financial or medical problems. Problems if any must be analyzed and you must discuss with your children about what they like and prepare nutritious meals to their taste.
In the past very few people had a TV at home and children spent their time outdoors running and playing with other children. Today most of the children find a great companion in TV before which they spend several hours of the day. Both the parents go for work and return only by 8 or 9 P.M and the children are left in the care of maids who do not prevent children from watching too much TV. Parents should take up responsibility and restrict the time their children watch TV, otherwise obesity will continue to be an issue.
The several channels offered by the cable operators make children sort of addicted to it and channels like cartoon network make children spend several hours before it. They hardly take up a sport like football, cricket or tennis which will help them lead a more active lifestyle. Parents must fix a time table for watching TV and computer games. Parents must set an example themselves by watching little or no TV themselves. It is not fait to compel the children not to watch TV when parents alone spend lot of their free time before the serials. Parents must educate and discuss with their children about the illeffects of watching TV for long and must be strict that they follow the time table. Parents must discuss with their children the bad effects of watching TV and playing computer games for a long time and its effect on obesity and other health issues. Schools also give more importance to standardized tests and the marks that students score on these tests. This in turn hampers the number of hours students go out and play. Exams and its preparation consume the time spent for sports making children stressed out and less physically active. Physical and mental balance is what is important and this can be achieved only if all schools have a compulsory physical training period everyday. Meritorious students in sports must be awarded and physical fitness should be given more importance in the schools, so that obesity amongst children can be solved at least to a certain extent.
While watching TV has its own advantages in terms of educating the children, addiction is what needs to be avoided. Watching their favorite talent show or quiz show for half an hour is reasonable but spending about half a day in front of the TV is bound to exacerbate the problem of child obesity even further. Parents as responsible individuals must take it upon themselves to restrict TV watching time in children and engage them in other active sports and games.