Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively impacts child’s health or wellbeing. In this condition child is significantly over weight for their age and height.
Worldwide 10% of school going children between the age of 5 and 17 have been reported to be overweight or obese. Many studies concluded 15-20% of children in India are overweight whereas 30% have an increased risk of falling in this category. By 2025 India will have over 17 million obese children and stand second among 185 countries where the number of obese children are concerned, according to a study. Recent Chennai based study has shown that this has been associated with increasing prevalence of hypertension amongst those overweight /obese children.
When children following wrong food habits, consuming empty calorie and very low nutrient added foods and doing low physical activities or games. If this same pattern continues overtime their calorie consumption becomes very high and energy expenditure gets very low and meanwhile that increase bodies fat cells may develop obesity.
Children are surrounded by many things that make them easy to eat more calorie food. Now a day’s high calorie foods are easily available in market for lower price. In televisions advertisements are very attractive to market unhealthy foods. These factors are lead children to take more calories than their actual need.
The high prevalence of obesity and overweight has serious health consequences. Raising body mass index (BMI) is a major risk factor for disease such ass cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and many cancers (including, for example , colorectal cancer, kidney cancer and oesophageal cancer). These diseases – often referred to as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – not only cause premature mortality, but also long-term morbidity. In addition, overweight and obesity in children are associated with significant reduction in quality of life and a greater risk of teasing, bullying and social isolation.
Due to the rapid increase in obesity prevalence and the serious public health consequences, obesity is commonly considered one of the most serious public health challenges of the early 21st centure
Its our responsibility to fight this dreadful disease affecting our next generation.
The determinants of obesity are complex and varied and it is important to recognize that no single intervention is likely to prevent child hood obesity. Action to prevent childhood obesity need to be taken in multiple settings and incorporate a variety of approaches and involve a wide range of stakeholders. Sustained interventions are likely to be required at several levels – at an individual level in schools and community settings to effect behavioral change, and in sector changes within agriculture , food manufacturing, education, transportation, urban planning. Each intervention may have minimal effects when assessed in isolation but can constitute significant components to an overall strategy.
Finally intervention for childhood obesity prevention need to be part of existing plan and programmes that aim to improve diets and physical activity. Interventions that utilize special settings should also strive for integration. Through the program we aim to integrate behavior- modification education into their existing curriculum.
Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of the human diet. The 2002 join WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on Diet, Nutrition and the prevention of Chronic Diseases, recommends that the population consume at least 400gms of fruits and vegetables per person per day (approximately equivalent to five servings).reducing this preventable burden of disease is by increasing fruit and vegetable intake.
Emerging evidence suggests that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption may also assist dietary weight management strategies to prevent obesity. Incorporating more fruit and vegetables can reduce the overall energy density of the diet, promote satiety and decrease the total energy intake and increase diet quality.
Components that have been most successful include the use of multiple media channel (including the use of social media) to promote special messages about the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption, hands-on skill building, active provision of fruit and vegetables in schools, and the involvement of teachers, peers and parents in delivering the program.
WHO recommends that children and adolescents between 5 and 17 years of age accumulates at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous – intensity physical activity every day. For children, physical activity includes play, games, sports, transportation, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise, in the context of family, school and community activities.
School – based physical activity interventions show consistent improvements in knowledge, attitudes, behavior and, when tested, physical and clinical outcomes. Schools need to include a physical activity component taught by trained teachers in supportive environment, and also include parental.
Children are at risk of obesity that can reduce lifespan of our future generation. It is our responsibility to create awareness in our society to prevent childhood obesity prevalence. On this status GEM hospital took a move to create awareness at schools about childhood obesity. Started a COPS(Childhood Obesity Prevention at School) on 2017. As a part of it twice monthly our team of doctor and dietician visits school record BMI of students providing them awareness about obesity and helping them to live their life in healthy manner. Over 10,000 students have been impacted so far and through this initiative we aim to reach out to over a lakhs of students in the district of Coimbatore in the next 2 years.