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18 Apr 2024, Edition - 3201, Thursday

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“Child is the messenger to the family and also the first victim of obesity”

Indrani Thakurata


“We have a habit of looking at the west, when we think of obese kids. But it is time to acknowledge the truth, which is, India with 14.4 million has the second highest obese children in the world,” says Alaknanda Banerjee, a News Reader. But, are we aware of it? Do we take this as a serious threat to the healthy existence of our child? The best way to drive home the point is to make the children agents of the change that we wish to see. It was heartwarming to our child refuse pizza, and call it ‘junk’, because her Ma’am taught her so. She warned us against unhealthy food in the house, and, for once we were stumped!

One of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity was initiated by Dr. Jayashree Todkar, Asia’s first lady bariatric surgeon who started the ‘fight obesity campaign.’

“Focusing on the societies crucial element that is child, where we can educate them about obesity and also ask them to spread the word in the society. Child is the messenger to the family and also the first victim,” says Dr Jayashree.

“It is very important to teach about healthy and junk food right from childhood. Habits and knowledge that are imbibed from childhood last for a lifetime. This initiative will surely make kids aware about the disease,” says Mahesh Shah, President Rotary Club of Koregaon Park.

It is important to know that obesity has serious implications on health. That can include pre-diabetes, heart disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia (too much fat in the blood, which can clog the arteries), some serious sleep disorder, gastrointestinal diseases and ofcourse depression. “Karan Johar openly spoke to his weight issues and how it caused him humiliation and depression.

Sonakshi Sinha also opened up about her weighty affairs and how it tends to lead into your adulthood, if you don’t take stalk of it. There are no clear results but heart disorders tend to go beyond the childhood years. But, worry not. As a parent you can control how and what your child eats. You can also have sessions with your child on what and how much to eat. “It wouldn’t be possible to cut out the junk completely, as that is the reality of the times that we live in, but we can definitely make them aware of the bad effects that it has on their health,” says Mansi D.

What can you do? Here are some tips

Neglect and in-difference can push the child towards binge eating. Show that you care, talk to your child, stop him from munching ‘sweet nothings’.

Food shouldn’t comfort. Food should fulfill physical need. Don’t give into the temptation of using it.

Don’t interfere with a child’s response to food.

It is important to eat everything in the right quantity. Don’t be too paranoid about weight, just focus on eating healthy and staying fit.

You know why we mostly call overweight people couch potatoes? Because we have a direct connection between the amount of time spent watching TV and weight.

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