MEANING OF OBESITY
Obesity is the accumulation of excess body fats in the body to the detriment of health.It could also be seen as a medical condition in which the body stores too much fat which may endanger one’s health.Therefore, there is a need to create great awareness about the “Dangers of childhood Obesity” in the world at large.
In this part of the world (Africa), it’s a thing of prestige and beauty to be chubby looking , especially a chubby looking child.There is this notion that a chubby looking individual or child is from a well to do home who feeds very well. But in recent years, research and study has made us realize that too much body fats poses a risk or predisposes one to many health challenges like Heart diseases, Diabetes, Liver diseases etc.
BODY MASS INDEX (BMI): A PARAMETER FOR MEASURING OBESITY
What is BODY MASS INDEX?(BMI)
BODY MASS INDEX (BMI) is simply an attempt to estimate how much body fat you have as an individual and then categorise the person as UNDERWEIGHT, HEALTHY WEIGHT, OVERWEIGHT or OBESE.
An individual’s BMI is calculated by dividing one’s body weight in kilograms by the height in meters squared (BMI = kg/m2). Assuming my weight is 70kg, and my height 1.74m then my BMI will be:
ACCEPTABLE BMI RANGES ACCORDING TO W.H.O
LESS THAN 18.5 kg/m2—————————->UNDERWEIGHT
18.5kg/m2 to 25kg/m2——————————>HEALTHY WEIGHT
25kg/M2 to 30kg/m2———————————->OVERWEIGHT
Moreover children’s body fat changes as they grow,therefore their BMI vary based on their age and gender and this parameter might not be accurate as they are for adults.
Therefore when medical professionals talk about a child’s BMI,they refer to a child’s growth curve compared to other children of the same age and gender using a term called BMI PERCENTILE.
BMI PERCENTILE FOR CHILDREN
UNDERWEIGHT———–> BELOW 5th PERCENTILE
HEALTHY WEIGHT———> BETWEEN 5th TO 85th PERCENTILE
OVERWEIGHT——————>85th to 95th PERCENTILE
If you want to know your child’s BMI,just meet with your doctor and request for one to be done for your child.
CAUSES OF OBESITY:
1.High Intake of sugary drinks or beverages: High intake of soft drinks and other sugary drinks can lead to obesity in children
2.Increased intake of junk foods :Eating of too much snacks like Pizza, meatpies,shawarma, icecreams, drinking of carbonated drinks,instant noodle,doughnuts ,pop corn etc are red flags to a healthy diet.All these kind of foods are high in calories like sugar,oils,salts,preservatives(chemicals)to the detriment of health.
3.Food Addiction: Like we have some people addicted to smoking or drinking,like wise we have some children who are also addicted to certain foods eg ;some kids cannot stay without biscuits,ice-cream,pizza etc.
4.Genetics: Genetics also plays a vital role here,some children are overweight by virtue of their parents genes. It would take great discipline from the parent and child for that child to stay in healthy shape.
5.Over-eating:This factor should not be overlooked.Eating too much is also a major cause of obesity eating without control,eating between meals.
6.Inactivity or Sedentary lifestyle :One can gain much weight by sedentary living.Always eating and no physical activity to burn down the fats or glucose.
7.Family Eating Habits:Late night meals can make you gain more weight,because it takes more time for food to be broken down at night.
9.Sleep Routine:Research has it that people who sleep less are likely to gain more weight than those who sleep well.
HEALTH RISKS DUE TO OBESITY
4Heart Burns (loss of appetite:causes)
1.Low self esteem
2.Peer Pressure school open days: why parents must attend
4.Difficulty in getting the right clothing size.
5.People see them as lazy(social stigma).
HOW TO PREVENT OBESITY.
1.Reduce intake of sugary foods and drinks.
2.Encourage children to partake in physical activities (exercises).
3.Discourage overeating,they should eat in moderate proportions.
4.Children should be taught to eat only when hungry.
5.Serve kids more fruits and vegetables rather than junk foods. loss of appetite :causes
6.Avoid eating too much processed foods (chemical based foods).
7.Avoid Sedentary lifestyles,sitting and watching televisions,playing computer games for long hours everyday.
8.Children learn more by what they see,be a good example to your children by eating right .
9.Eat food rich in fibre and whole grain (vegetables,fruits,oats,unprocessed grains).
10.Stack your fridges with healthy foods and fruits,rather that snacks and sugary drinks.
If you have any comment or suggestions,please feel free to contribute.