Obesity will always be mentioned when it comes to child health. It will feature in the mass media, social media, street talk, and many other forums. However, what puzzles many people is Read More »
It is estimated that more than 12 million children in the United States alone are overweight if not downright obese. And the numbers are seen to increase even more in the years Read More »
Obesity will always be mentioned when it comes to child health. It will feature in the mass media, social media, street talk, and many other forums. However, what puzzles many people is the way it is taken lightly. In fact, it almost appears like its being accepted as norm. The latest statistics are quite worrying. For instance, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), obese cases have risen from 31 million (1990) to 44million (2012). The following reasons explain why the war against obesity in children seems to be lost:
Lack of Information
Many children go through obesity in full view of the society. Action is never taken simply because of lack adequate information on what it is, its effects and how it can be eradicated. This is especially witnessed in developing and third-world countries where obesity and malnutrition exist side-by-side. For instance, cases of obesity in children in Africa have been rising at an alarming rate. This is credited to the adoption of fatty foods which are symbolic of better standard of living.
Accepted as Normal
Many people are aware of obesity. In fact, some parents or guardians will have been victims of obesity at some point in life. Having gone through the trauma and discomfort of being obese, one would expect him/her to be at the forefront of the fight against obesity. Well, sadly, the issue is not even talked about. This clearly suggests that it has become accepted in the society. And unless we go through a mind change then it will become part of our lifestyle.
Priorities relating to obesity seem to be misplaced. Weigh loss methods and child nutrition seem to target the mature adult leaving-out children. In addition, a parent will be willing to pay for expensive weight loss procedures and simply ignore the child. This inequality is also observed in pregnant or nursing mothers especially in countries in the West. Breastfeeding and proper weaning has been done away with in favor of highly refined and pre-packed baby formulas.
The so-called “instant weight loss plans or quick fixes” are having negative impact in the society. Initially, losing weight was a gradual process which took time. A parent would therefore adopt a healthy lifestyle right from the early stages of life. Also, he would encourage a child take-up sports or exercises. But, with weight loss pills and diets that promise to eradicate the extra weight in a short time, many parents simply ignore the whole issue hoping to make use of the magic pills or schemes when time comes.
The WHO has predicted that in 2025 there will be about 70 million obese children. These figures are quite staggering and indeed worrying. Simply put, obesity will become part of lifestyle. In fact, non-communicable diseases related to being obese or overweight have overtaken communicable diseases. Diseases such as stroke, heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure have become quite common. Eradicating obesity in children should be given priority in regard to child health. And unless it is done sooner rather than later, a global health disaster is looming.
One woman that is doing something about child health is First Lady, Michelle Obama. And she may just have the power a person needs to actually make a difference! Check out this 2 minute video about what Michelle Obama is doing to improve nutrition for children and put an end to this epidemic.
It is estimated that more than 12 million children in the United States alone are overweight if not downright obese. And the numbers are seen to increase even more in the years to come if the issue is not addresses immediately and properly. Child nutrition experts say that the rise of childhood obesity is a cause of alarm because studies have shown that overweight and obese children are prone to develop dangerous and potentially fatal health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancer. Many experts believe that the answer to fighting obesity lies in proper nutrition for children.
Below are some tips to make sure that your kid will get all the nutrients he or she needs.
Be patient and creative in introducing nutritious food
Many moms complain about the difficulty of introducing healthy food to their kids. They try to coax or force their children to eat fruits and vegetables using the limited tricks that they know and when their efforts fail, many of them simply give up and just let their children eat whatever they want.
The key is to not give up.
Just keep giving your child healthy food choices (which is badly needed for child health) until he or she learns to appreciate and eat them. It also pays to be creative when trying to make your child eat healthy fares. You have to keep in mind that forcing kids to do things rarely works. A better way to make them eat healthier is to talk to them and make them understand the value of a healthy diet.
Watch out for liquid calories
You may be watching the stuff that your kid is eating already. But what about the beverages that he or she likes to drink? Food is not the only source of calories. If your child is fond of drinking sugary commercial fruit juices and sodas, then it will not be a surprise if he or she ends up overweight or obese. That is, if he or she is not on the heavy side already.
To stop your kids from drinking “bad” beverages, then you should stop stocking up on them. Out of sight, out of mind. If it is not in your cupboard or fridge, then your kid won’t be able to drink it. Introduce better alternatives to your kid such as natural fruit and vegetables juices without added sweeteners or water infused with fruits. Invest in a good juicer and make fruit juices from scratch. This alone will make a World of difference for child nutrition.
Be a good example
The best way to encourage your kid to eat healthy food is to be a good example. How can you expect your kid to stop eating junk food if he or she regularly sees you munching on chips and cookies while sitting on your couch? As they say, if you want to solve the problems in the world you should start with yourself. Nutrition for children starts with you. You don’t have to go on a diet. You just need to make better choices when it comes to food. Your child has a better chance in winning the battle against obesity if you will join him in the fight.
Obesity in children is an increasingly common condition in which excessive body fat has accumulated to a point that it may have negative effects on the young one’s health. One of the most fatal, chronic and relapsing disorders of the 21st century, the condition is often associated with poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. In general, the increase in cases of childhood obesity is associated with the tendency to consume fast foods as well as sugar-sweetened beverages. Given the risks associated with the disorder, it’s important to understand its how this happens and what to do about it.
How does obesity in children happen?
Excess weight and obesity may be the result of one or a combination of various factors which include the following:
1. Poor food choices
When children are fed or allowed to consume sugary and high fat foods instead of healthier options, they may become overweight children since these foods often have high calories.
2. Sedentary pursuits
On average, children and adolescents watch more than 4 hours of television per day, in addition to spending time on video games or electronic games. These pastimes are slowly replacing active ones and may put your young one at risk of obesity.
3. Lack of physical activity
Children who are generally inactive or don’t exercise regularly are likely to add weight as they don’t burn any calories via physical activity.
4. Family history
A family’s eating habits can have a significant influence on the weight of a child. Overweight parents may have little concern about obese children compared to parents with a healthy weight.
In some cases, obesity in children may be a result of gene disorders .Particular genes can act together, which is shown by a tendency within a family to become overweight. This may make children in such families to be highly susceptible to obesity.
What needs to be done about obesity in children?
1. Physical activity
An important part in weight loss for children (and even adults) is exercise. This will burn calories, build strong bones & muscles, and help your child sleep well. Moreover, active children are likely to become fit adults. As a parent, there are several things you can do to increase your child’s levels including:
· Limiting recreational computer & TV time to about 2 hours a day.
· Joining your young one in the activities.
· Choosing for them activities they like.
· Varying physical activities.
2. Healthy eating
Since the parents are ones who choose and prepare the food, making even the smallest of changes can make a huge difference for overweight children. Anytime you’re buying food, go for fruits and vegetables rather than convenience foods like cookies as they’re often high in sugar. Additionally, limit the consumption of sweetened beverages in your home and cut down on the number of times you eat out.
3. Weight-loss surgery
For severely obese children and adolescents who’ve been unable to shed weight using the conventional weight-loss methods, surgery can be an option. It’s known to be effective and is relatively safe. But just like other types of surgery, weight-loss surgery may have potential risks & long-term complications. Its long-term effect of on a child’s growth and development is also largely unknown. Even with weight-loss surgery, there still needs to be a life-change in their eating and exercise habits.
Please take 3 minutes out of your day to watch this IMPORTANT and INSPIRING video about childhood obesity and how we can help.
Diabetes has become one of the most widespread diseases at a global scale, affecting large portion of the world population. Earlier it was considered that this disease was generally found in adults, and even if children were diagnosed with diabetes, it was generally type 1 diabetes. But with the recent change in lifestyle around the World, the cases for type 2 diabetes among children is rising at an alarming rate.
The digestive system of our body breaks down the food into blood sugar glucose. This glucose is then converted into energy with the help of an enzyme called insulin. Children having type 2 diabetes develops a resistance towards the effect of insulin and the glucose starts accumulating in the blood stream, rising the blood sugar levels which can lead to many severe problems if not taken care properly.
Diabetes not only affects the general functioning of the digestive system, there are many other problems related to it. High blood sugar levels can lead to kidney failure, heart disease, blindness, behavioural instability, blood vessel damage, brain complications etc. These problems may cause serious damage to the body and may prove to be fatal.
Diagnosing children with diabetes is one of the most difficult task because the symptoms associated with diabetes are very acute and generally develop over a long duration of time. Parents tend to ignore these diabetes symptoms in children and consider them as temporary effects.
These symptoms, if understood properly, can prove to a life savior for your child. Some of the common symptoms associated with diabetes are :
- Unexpected and unexplained weight loss in children.
- Excessive hunger or thirst, even after consuming sufficient amount of food and water.
- Frequently drying of mouth.
- Blurred vision or difficulty to focus on objects.
- Slow healing of wounds and cuts.
- Problems in breathing, particularly heavy breathing.
- Tingling sensation in hands and feet.
- Feeling fatigue without doing any work.
- Frequent urination problem. Having itchy sensation over the skin.
Children with diabetes are generally found to be overweight, this had made a direct correlation between obesity and diabetes. Other factors associated with childhood diabetes are hereditary problem, irregular sleep pattern, lack of physical exercise, unhealthy eating habits, increasing emotional stress among children etc.
The past decade has seen a major rise in the number of diabetes in children cases, and it is majorly due to the change in lifestyle that has taken at a global scale. Children from a very tender age are surrounded with more and more gadgets, spending less time in physical activities. This has led to children being obese and unhealthy, which ultimately results in childhood diabetes.
Parents should pay adequate attention to their children and develop a lifestyle that is beneficial for them. Some of the methods that can significantly reduce the chances of diabetes in children are:
- Have a proper control over the eating habits of your children, so not let them over indulge in sweets.
- Make them aware about the benefits of a healthy body and a healthy mind.
- Develop a routine of daily exercise in your children, accompany them to a park whenever possible.
- Visit a pediatrician regularly to keep a check on the general well being of your child.
These are some general tips that can help your child lead a healthy life. Even if diagnosed with diabetes, the children should be inculcate with confidence. With proper medication and regular analysis, children with diabetes can lead a normal life without any problem.
Let’s start with some childhood obesity facts. It has become a prevalent medical condition in all states. With up to 25% of children and teenagers in the states becoming obese, there is no denying that child obesity is indeed a serious health problem. With cases of child obesity increasing every day, no better term fits it better than health epidemic.
Obesity is a result of flawed lifestyle. The number of calories children consume far outweighs the number of calories expected. Nearly 25 million children are obese today. Obesity is a health problem that can make a child less active and prone to diseases, a clear indication of just how much it is a real threat to the lives of our children in the society today. Below are 6 childhood obesity facts that show how costly and dangerous this problem is in the society.
1) Fast food consumption is rising:
Fast food consumption is among the primary contributing factors to obesity in children. Children who eat fast food in their young age consistently develop the habit of eating fast foods as adults. The more fast food your child consumes, the more difficult it becomes to remedy the epidemic of childhood obesity.
2) Unnecessary snacking always lead to weight gain:
Children today take three snacks or more per day. A child who trends towards taking three snacks a day adds an additional 200 calories than their body really need. A child that lives in a state without snack policies is likely to gain more weight. This will be different for a child living in state that has such policies.
3) Nearly 25% of kids do not exercise:
It may not sound like a lot, but that means about a quarter of all the children under the age of ten are not running, playing tags or hide-and-seek any more. There is no more chasing each other in the field, no climbing trees and no playing football in the field, not anymore. Parents are not taking notice and in fact, they are encouraging their kids to stay in the house to do their homework, sleep or watch TV. Most parents even insist on a sedentary lifestyle forgetting that a child has a life to live, a healthy life, a physically and mentally fit life.
4) An obese child makes a poor student:
A healthy body makes a healthy mind. A child who eats well always performs well in their academics. A child subject to low quality diet will perform poorly in their academics. Eating too much junk makes your child obese, and this leads to a child being inactive most of the times. A child who is not active in class cannot perform well in their tests. Unfortunately, there are children who constantly add more weight on the already existing weight.
5) Obesity will subject your child to cardiovascular disease:
Studies conducted on a population-based sample of 5 to 17-year-olds showed that about 70% of obese youth had risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
6) Premature deaths:
Hypertension, glucose intolerance and obesity are closely linked to increased rates of premature death. If your child is obese, find a better way to help them reduce weight, stay fit and prevent further weight gain.
The future of a child needs to be put into perspective. The longer a parent waits to help their child, the harder for the CHILD it will be. There are many childhood obesity articles that have an array of information and knowledge so that you can do your part in saving a child’s life.
Type 2 diabetes once affected adults mainly. But nowadays, children and teens are also susceptible because of obesity and inactivity.
Types of Diabetes in Children
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the most common types of diabetes in children.
Type 1 diabetes was once known as juvenile diabetes. It starts suddenly with frequent urination, great thirst and weight loss. It occurs in children irrespective of their weight. This type of diabetes in children is treated using insulin shots.
Type 2 diabetes commonly occurs in obese persons. It is also common in people of African, Asian, American-Indian or Hispanic origin. Type 2 diabetes usually begins slowly. Some people may even not show any symptoms at all. Some people can control type 2 diabetes with exercise and a healthy diet but others must take insulin or diabetes pills.
Here is a quick 2 minute video about Type 1 Diabetes vs. Type 2 Diabetes:
The following traits could attest to Type 2 diabetes symptoms in children:
a) Non-European ancestors
b) High cholesterol levels
d) High blood pressure
e) High triglyceride levels
f) High blood glucose levels
g) Close relatives with Type 2 diabetes
h) Dark patches of skin, usually on the back of the neck
i) Low HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels
How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Although type 2 diabetes is partly hereditary, it can be delayed or prevented in most cases. The secret is a healthy lifestyle. Below are some ways to prevent Type 2 diabetes in children.
1. Food choices
A diet high in plant foods and low in saturated fats and salts is central to preventing childhood diabetes. Here are some suggestions to improve your child’s diet:
a) Avoid junk foods such as candy, chips, cookies, doughnuts and soft drinks
b) Have healthy foods for lunch and snacks such as nonfat milk, fresh fruit, nuts, cherry tomatoes and low-fat cheese.
c) Buy whole grains such as barley, oatmeal, brown rice and whole-wheat bread and past instead of refined grains such as white rice, bread or pasta.
d) Avoid eating at fast-food restaurants.
e) Increase fruit and vegetable intake per day.
f) Serve small portions.
g) Serve food at the same times every day.
h) Bake, boil, broil, roast, grill or steam food instead of frying.
i) Set a good example as a parent by eating a healthy diet.
2. Activity choices
More active people burn more calories. Encourage physical activity in your child by:
a) Encourage brisk play.
b) Limiting TV and computer time.
c) Assigning active duties like vacuuming rugs.
d) Encouraging walking or riding a bike to school if it is near
e) Be active as a family. Ride bikes, go for walks, jump rope, or play games together.
f) Set a good example as a parent by leading an active life.
3. Other actions
The other ways of preventing Type 2 diabetes in children include:
a) Taking them for regular medical checkups.
b) Consulting a doctor on how your child can lose weight.
Treating Type 2 Diabetes in Children
The main goals of Type 2 diabetes treatment are:
• Normalizing blood glucose levels as much as possible.
• Getting A1C levels as normal as possible
• Preventing damage to the eyes, heart, kidney and nerves.
Obesity makes it more difficult to control diabetes. It is therefore important to strive for a healthy weight.
A child who gets type 2 diabetes requires expert advice on healthy eating and exercise. Support from the family is extremely crucial to the child as he or she fights diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes tends to worsen with time in some people. If this is the case, the child will need drugs such as insulin to keep blood glucose levels under control.
Let’s start helping all these children with diabetes overcome this disease!
Most parents want to understand child nutrition, but it isn’t always easy to create healthy meals and snacks for children. Their nutritional needs vary greatly from adults, but there are a few recommendations which can be used to ensure that child health is a priority and that children are getting what they need from their daily diet.
Newborns and Infants
Whenever possible, moms should try to provide breast milk to their newborns and infants. Breast-feeding provides ideal nutrition and is sufficient to support an infant’s growth and development for the first six months after birth.
However, while complementary foods should be introduced around this time, moms can still supplement breast milk for up to a year. When children begin to transition from breast milk or formula to other foods, these foods should be introduced gradually. Children tend to be able to regulate the amount of calories they need, so it’s never a good idea to force a child to finish meals if they don’t seem hungry.
Caloric intakes can vary greatly from meal to meal and should not be a source of concern unless a child is consistently consuming a very low intake. Parents can start introducing pureed foods and should offer one food at a time. Since this period is a great time to introduce new textures, infants should be offered a selection of pureed fruits and vegetables.
Caloric Needs for Children
Children’s caloric needs may vary slightly depending on their growth and development.
For children ages 2-3 years, a diet should provide approximately 1000 calories per day.
Children ages 4-8 years should receive approximately 1200 calories for girls and about 1400 calories for boys. A reasonable rule of thumb is to add on a hundred calories per year.
Girls around 14-18 years will require 1800 calories or more for optimal growth and nutrition while boys of the same age will require approximately 2200 calories.
Until the age of 4, children should also get a large percentage of their diet from fat. Anywhere from 30-35% of total caloric intake should come from fat sources. As children age beyond this, the percentage drops to 25-35%. However, fat is an essential nutrition for kids for proper growth and development and should not be left out of a diet.
Milk and dairy products are also important to a child’s nutrition. Children less than 9 years of age should receive about two cups a day and then three cups a day from this point.
The recommended amount of fruits and vegetables will also change over time. For children under the age of 9, they should try to have one cup of fruit and one cup of vegetables on a daily basis. After 9, this amount goes up to 1.5 cups of each per day and may even be greater depending on caloric needs. Fruits and vegetables should be varied to provide an optimal mix of nutrients. Children may need encouragement to get an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables into their daily diet.
All of these recommendations have been made to ensure that required nutrition for children is received for proper growth and development. While each child’s needs will vary slightly, parents and caregivers can use these recommendations to build healthy, balanced diets. After-all, what’s more important then children health!
Fast food is a common term used to refer to foods which are cooked and served within a short time. Even though these foods are very delicious, they pose several health concerns. One of the serious health concerns of fast foods is obesity in children.
Since these foods are very sweet, they have become more and more popular each day. The biggest consumer market for these foods are children. Statistics indicate that most children prefer the idea of eating out rather that eating homemade foods.
The relationship with Fast Food
Fast foods are foods rich in high levels of carbohydrates, salt, sugar and fats. These foods are usually served in large quantity as a single serving. Some individuals wrongly try to justify the effects of fast food and obesity. The advocate that children can eat whatever they want since they actively engage in an active lifestyle thus they are able digest these foods. However, this is not totally true as it has been noted that children gain excess weight/fats as time goes by.
In the USA, obesity is now becoming a huge problem. A study conducted indicates that almost a third of the total children population in USA with the age bracket of 4 to 19 years eat fast food on a regular basis. The study showed that these kids gain weight up to 6 pounds year and are more likely to suffer from obesity by eating these foods.
Effects of fast foods on children
Fast foods have high levels of fats, sugar and calories than other foods, making them low in nutritional value. The following are facts about fast foods and child obesity
High levels of sugar makes children more prone to type 2 diabetes. When children are affected by diabetes at these early age, it stops insulin from being produced hence making them more prone to suffer from obesity.
Saturated fats in fast foods are very harmful to overweight children which leads to heightened levels of Triglycerides and blood cholesterol leading to many early age problems with respect to heart health and many other health problems. In addition, increased fat intake makes the child suffer from obesity.
Excessive salts in fast foods ultimately increases the blood pressure. This triggers rupturing and cracking of veins and arteries transporting blood to the body. To repair these blood vessels, your body needs to accumulate lipoproteins and convert it into cholesterols which ultimately lead to high cholesterol levels in the body.
Other than the above effects, these foods have high starch content. Starch is known to encourage food craving in children; as a result, children tend to eat more, gain a lot of weight and eventually suffer from obesity in children. Worst of it, these foods have vanished healthy foods from consumption therefore the child also suffers from malnutrition.
What should be done?
It is clear that fast foods create obese children, causing them to be more susceptible to illnesses. So, the best solution is to stop consumption of fast foods. Discourage your kid’s from eating fast foods items as they cause serious health condition. On the site, you will find many ways to help with child obesity.
A MUST WATCH: Here is a very eye-opening 1 minute video that really puts into perspective what we are doing to our children.