The number of children who are obese is spiraling and is a cause of grave concern to parents and healthcare professionals alike. These obese children face the risk of getting various diseases like diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease. The statistics pertaining to the number of children and teens who are obese show that there is an increased tendency for the future generation to be less healthy than adults. So it is urgent and important that preventive steps are taken to correct this problem which has reached epidemic proportion today.
Factors influencing child obesity statistics:
There are a number of reasons that alter the statistics relating to child obesity whichwarns us of future problems. They are:
Nutritional constituent in diet: Eating fatty or oily foods including junk foods will only aggravate the problem of obesity in kids. You must inculcate the right eating habits in your children by following the same yourself. Substituting fruits and vegetable salads in place of refined foods like pasta and pizzas will go a long way in controlling this problem.
Getting plenty of exercise: You should encourage kids to take up an out door sport like tennis or cricket instead of restricting their choices to television or computer games. Spending a lot of time indoors will only lead them to become more lazy and inactive. They should also engage in some form of physical activity as it will tend to curb the tendency to get obese.
The genetic factors also play a part in determining this condition, obese parents tend to have children who are obese. While this cannot be cured, corrective measures such as the above can be undertaken to control the rising obesity statistics.
The percentages of children and teens that are obese have almost doubled in the last 30 years and this figure is expected to increase in the years to come. Obesity in children brings with it other problems like wear and tear of bones and joints at a really young age which will lead to various other lifestyle diseases later on.
Other remedial measures:
You should take your children for regular health check ups to determine correct height and weight and where corrections are needed. You can accompany children to gyms or fitness centers and make them exercise regularly. Their diet should constitute lot of low fat and full grain products and protein rich foods. The food pyramid will give you a good idea to decide what kinds of food can be included in your child’s diet. You can also compel them to take up an out door sport like football or tennis regularly. Swimming is also a good form of exercise.
According to a research undertaken by London based International taskforce with respect to the statistics of obese children was over 700,000 children in U.K by the end of April 2006. About 160,000 children were at the risk of developing heart disease. The statistics of obesity warns us of future problems. The number of overweight children is more among girls than boys in U.K. This was also linked with higher cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The number of overweight children in Europe is further expected to increase by 1.3 million a year. These children are also at an increasing risk of getting type-2 diabetes which is known only to affect the older generation. Some of these children also showed signs of glucose intolerance, cardiovascular disease and higher cholesterol levels all linked with the issue of being obese.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also admitted that childhood obesity is a serious problem that calls for immediate attention. All parts of the world are plagued by this problem. The number of people who are obese worldwide according to WHO is 1 billion and is expected to cross the 1.5 billion mark in 10 years. This is not a problem associated with the western countries only, even low and middle income countries face this problem of obesity in children and adults. The obesity statistics are alarming and calls for immediate measures to curtail the problem.
Other potential health risks of rising statistics of obesity:
- Heart disease
- Type-2 diabetes
- Gall bladder disease
- Liver disease
- Cancer (esophagus, colon, breast)
You can protect yourself from these risks just by eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Also concentrate on helping your children lead active lives by helping them engage in outdoor sports and eating a well balanced diet.