Yoram Yasur Izz | Childhood obesity is a problem that needs correcting. A good feeding of the child in their early years will be positive in their health. And in their learning, to communicate and adapt with their environment, thinking and in their school performance. Good nutrition can influence their future.
Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health problems that society has today, in the so-called First World and contrasts with the famine suffered by another important part of the child population.
Childhood obesity as a health risk:
Many families believe that having a chubby child is a sign that they are well, strong, and healthy. But child nutrition experts say that this is not always the case and what matters is not that the child is fat or thin, but that the child is healthy. Obese and overweight children tend to continue with this problem as adults and are at greater risk of suffering from diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This problem of overweight and obesity as well as related diseases are many of them preventable.
WHO recognizes and is aware that childhood obesity is due to social changes. The main cause of childhood obesity, is an incorrect nutrition since the prenatal period, and continues in infancy and childhood. It is characterized by excessive consumption of foods rich in fat and calories, hypercaloric and poor in micronutrients with few vitamins, and minerals, as well as a lack of physical exercise that increases with age.
“Children’s products that are high in fat and sugar are almost always offered in larger portions than usual. This makes them eat increasingly calories than they need. Advertising influences the choice of these unhealthy products because they often exceed recommended dosages of sugar, salt, or fats”.
We must also consider the genetics, diseases, and emotional problems, increasingly common, that can increase the risk of childhood obesity. Hormonal or thyroid disorders, as well as some medications, can increase the appetite.
The problem needs to be addressed to the entire population, the different sectors, and adapted to different cultural sensitivities. Children and adolescents do not choose their environment or diet. It is we who must care for their well-being, they do not know the long-term consequences that bad habits can entail, they need special attention. Parents and educators must teach them that with food is not played and give it the importance it really deserves.
Yoram Yasur Izz: “There is no exact amount of food a child should consume. Each child is different, and their wants and needs are different. The child knows how much they can eat and we should not force them to eat more. Making a healthy and balanced menu for children is a challenge for parents, who want to complete at home what children eat at school”.
Tips to combat childhood obesity
Some tips to keep in mind for good infant feeding:
- There are no bad foods, but bad habits. Adequate the amounts to the age and the growth of the child.
- They must take fruits and vegetables every day that they supply them vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Cook with olive oil.
- It is advised two moderate daily intakes of fish, meat, eggs.
- Experts advise that children should do one hour of moderate activity each day. Let’s encourage them to play, run, bike and play sports in their spare time.
- The child needs carbohydrates, such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, legumes, and cereals, if they are whole, they will also have fiber and increase their intake of vitamins and minerals.
- Drink, always water. Soft drinks only occasionally and without caffeine.
- Their diet should include food from all groups, without abusing any.
The important thing is the balance between them.
- Avoid industrialized and processed foods as much as possible.
- Children should not watch more than two hours of television, mobile or electronic games a day.
Child health professionals advise children to have periodic checkups if appropriate. The child’s body mass index is calculated by combining height and weight per a formula designed for them. Obese children tend to have lower self-esteem, and are more vulnerable to being molested or ridiculed, which can make them difficult to make friends or feel different or apart from the group.