(Nov 28, 2016, DG): Kerala, the Indian state known as God's own country has fallen into the clutches of obesity. Diabates, blood pressure and stomach problems are plaguing the state's population.
But, what triggers all these woes ? If one goes tracing the roots, the search would end in their own kitchen. The menace of obesity needs to be tackled at a young age. Catch them young is the mantra.
Food control a good idea ?
Imposing severe restrictions on food intake wouldn't be a good idea. Instead, kids should be encouraged to indulge in physical activities. Ten percent of children in this world below 17 years are obese, according to surveys. In India, it is 10 to 30 percent. This would prove harmful when the child grows up into an adult. Along with several diseases, mental pressure, lack of self confidence and depression may affect them. There are lot of reasons for obesity. Among these, lack of exercise and unhealthy food habits are the main culprits. Heredity and hormone problems very rarely contribute to this condition.
What can parents do ?
1. Include more fruits and vegetables in diet.
2. Oily and salty foods along with sugary drinks and bakery items must be avoided.
3. Make sure your kids dont skip break fast.
4. Avoid fast food. Think twice before rewarding your kid with rich food. For example, some parents treat their kids with biryani and ice cream if they secure good marks at school.
5.Don't allow kids to spend more time on video games. Instead, encourage them to give outdoor games a chance.
6. Make sure they don't consume carbonated drinks and junk foods from outside.
7.Above all, don't be preachy and get ready to walk the talk. Kids learn through examples. So, be a role model.
MBBS, DCH, MD (Pediatrics)
Consultant pediatrician, Medical director
Indira Gandhi cooperative hospital