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22 Oct 2020, Edition - 1927, Thursday

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Health & Lifestyle

Obesity in children can be prevented with the help of diet

Indrani Thakurata

Child obesity is one of the major health problems that is being faced by developed nationstoday.The most alarming and frightening part of childhood obesity is that if the same is not cured or attended to during childhood; it will result in the child being obsessed throughouttheir life, which can cause some major health problems like diabetes and high bloodPressure. Global childhood obesity rates have increased 10 times from what it was in the 1970s and if reports are to be believed, there will be more obese children than underweight in 5 years.

Therefore, reducing the risks and attending to the problem early is necessary for a child’shappy and healthy future. “The importance and value of a healthy being should be imbibedin children from the timethey are in their mother’s womb. Proper education to pregnantwomen is equally important to ensure that their children are not the victims of obesity.Proper eating and living habits developed bymothersat this stage, is likely that their childfollows their lifetime. It has been noticed that babies who have been educated since earlychildhood to develop correct habits are saved from obesity throughout their life,” says Dietician Sheela Seharawat, a young successful entrepreneur as well.

Childhood obesity has the ability to destroy self esteem. Most children who are obese have a tough time growing up. “Most celebs who were obese during their childhood had major self esteem issues. Karan Johar has confessed many a times of having issues because of his weight. Even Parineeti and Arjun Kapoor. I have had friends who were obese back then, and were teased relentlessly because of their weight,” says Sandhya Kumar, an obese mother battling weight issues.

We have always been told that along with diet, exercise plays an important role in watching your weight.”Diet plays an important role since the infant stage of a child. Normally fat cells are formed inthebody by the first year of an infant’s life, and the numbers do not increase later. So itclearly says that if an infant is overfed at the first years of life, the fats cells exceeds innumber thannormal, and at later stages fats starts depositing in these cells, thereby causingobesity. Therefore, it clearly indicates that if the fat cells does not exceeds normal at earlylife stage, chances of obesity is also minimized,” Sheela Seharawat elaborates.

The dietician adds, “Carbohydrate intakes are known to play a crucial role in obesity. So during the infant stage if the child is not overfed with carbohydrates at the early first year stage, the chances of getting obsessed later is also almost nil. It is important that right from the beginning weencourage children to develop the habit of having right and balanced diet.” Furthering the same thought,Dietician Moumita Chakraborty says, “Our children have access to too much junk and as parents we succumb to quick bites in no time and that’s where we falter. We need to educate our children about healthy snacks and quick bites.”

There are certain food habits that we need to consider for our child to lead a healthy andobesity free life:- Water: water is important for normal body functioning like digesting the food eaten.
It is recommended to drink 3 to 4 liters of water per day. In case the child feels

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