According to a study in the US, the rates, especially in children, is growing at an alarming percentage in recent years. This too has the rates of early start of diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and severe hip-joint conditions necessitating surgery.
Computer age affected many kids and is spending less time doing outdoor activities, exercising and is spending more time in front of the TV, video-game console, computer and tablet. And because most of today’s parents are both busy with work, the mother has fewer free time to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals so they tend to buy ready to cook meals or from fast food for the family. These instant and ready to eat foods to gadgets are easy and quick fixes are the reality for many people.
You as a parent can actually help your kids from becoming overweight and obese by means of adapting health eating habits and exercises, and how your family spends time together. You can help your kids lead a healthy lifestyles and it begins in you as a parents who lead by example.
Another study made by Project F-FEAT (Families and Eating and Activity Among Teens), a study designed to examine factors within the family environment on weight in adolescents shows that pushing your child to eat may lead to obesity in the future. It was found that between 50 and 60% of parents is requiring that their child eat all of the food on their plate at a meal and that between 30-40% of parents are encouraging their child to continue eating even after their child said that they were full.
“Parental pressure to eat can be detrimental to children because it takes away from a child’s ability to respond naturally to their own hunger,” said Loth. “Instead, (it) encourages them to respond to cues in their environment which can lead to unhealthy weight gain over time.”
The data also showed that restricting food from kids was a common practice of either parent, in both boys and girls.
Most of the health problems related with obesity become evident in adulthood. Early signs are commonly found in children. Probable health problems for obese children include:
- Type 2 diabetes – though this condition is most usually seen in adults, it is now being diagnosed in children
- Liver problems including fatty liver
- Eating disorders such as binge eating
- Orthopedic disorders – problems with foot structure
- Sleep apnea – a condition that causes difficulty breathing when sleeping. It also causes snoring, waking often and poor sleep. It makes one feel tired and causes poor concentration during the day.
- Respiratory disorders such as blocked airways and restrictions in the chest wall, which cause breathlessness during exercise.
- Cardiomyopathy – a problem with the heart muscle, caused when extra effort is needed to pump blood.
Factors that may cause children to become overweight and obese include:
- Food picks – most children are sweet tooth and love eating sugary and fatty foods instead of healthier options.
- Lack of physical activity – children nowadays don’t have much outdoor activities.
- More time on sedentary activities – children are spending around 3 hours of television a day, not to mention the time spent using computers and other electronic games.
- Genetics – certain rare gene disorders cause severe childhood obesity.
- Overweight parents – a family’s eating patterns can have a major influence on a child’s eating habit and maintaining a healthy weight.
Parents should remember that lifestyle and diet modifications could help children to maintain a healthy weight. They should also educate their children about the danger and health problems that may arise on being overweight as obesity can cause serious health problems in childhood and later in life.