OBESITY IN CHILDREN
While we all are trying to deal with the covid 19 pandemic, I would like to highlight another health issue which is acquiring global and worrisome proportions.
I am talking about CHILDHOOD OBESITY.
The prevalence in Indian children aged 5 to 18 years is about 18percent, which is quite significant.
Childhood obesity occurs when a child’s weight is above the normal or healthy weight for his or her age and height.
Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and of the same age and sex.
Children who have obesity are more likely to have the following complications :
• High blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
• Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.
• Metabolic syndrome.
• Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea.
• Joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort.
• Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn).
• Psychological problems such as anxiety and depression.
• Low self-esteem
• Social problems such as bullying and stigma.
WE must work together to create an environment that supports a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity, regular medical checks, growth monitoring, along with reduced screen time and adequate sleep.
It is important to recognize childhood obesity and treat it, to avoid obesity in adulthood with all its complications, which would certainly be more difficult to treat.
So let us be aware, let us recognize obesity in children and manage it timely and effectively, and thereby gift our children a healthy future.