Childhood obesity is one of the leading public health concerns that affect children and adults alike. Obesity in children makes them prone to develop stress, sadness, depression and low self-esteem. In addition, they are at a higher risk of developing NCD’s such as heart diseases, hypertension, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea etc., in their adulthood.
These Days, Children Become Overweight Due to the Following Factors:
- Unhealthy eating patterns
- Environmental factors
- Lack of physical activity
- Heredity and Family History
Although weight issues run in the family, not all kids with a case history are going to be overweight. Children whose parents or siblings are overweight may be at an increased risk of becoming obese themselves, but this can be linked to shared family behaviours such as eating and activity habits.
Studies say that adolescents are prone to belly fat. Belly fat is considered even more dangerous than childhood obesity in general, because it’s an important indicator of risks such as heart disease and diabetes.
Kanchan Naikawadi, Preventive Healthcare Specialist, Indus Health Plus says, “Obesity is a rising concern amongst teenagers. The only way to lose fat around the belly is to reduce the amount of calories intake and by increasing the activity level. These actions help in improving the overall health in many ways, and, in addition, help in losing belly fat. Also, parents need to motivate their children to indulge more in outdoor games and activities.”
Following the below-mentioned tips can help in reducing the fat around the belly-
- Eat on time - eat breakfast around the same time each day. If you tend to sleep till late on weekends, eat as soon as you wake up
- Keep away stress – teens are under stress due to studies, friends, relationship etc. Help them relax through reading, practising yoga or spending quality time with family
- Be Active – The best way to burn fat is exercise and limit obesity. Indulge in activities like running, walking, Zumba etc.
- Sleep more - most children and adults need at least 7 hours of sleep every night to function properly
- Walk 10,000 steps a day - get a pedometer and try to increase the number of daily steps you take
- Keep yourself hydrated - aim to drink 8 glasses of water 8 times per day
- Reduce the daily television time
- Make the portion size of meals smaller and eat after every 2 hours
- Keep a check on the overall health status through regular checkups
Besides changing diet and exercise habits, successful belly fat loss often requires other behavioural changes. Set reasonable weekly or monthly goals, monitor your weight loss or gain, and find healthy ways to reward yourself. Working with both a dietician and a behavioural specialist can help you put these practices into play.
(The article has been contributed by Ms. Kanchan Naikawadi, Preventive Healthcare Specialist, Indus Health Plus.)