Obesity, is an abnomal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual's ideal body weight. This is the medical definition but the real impact is seem in the comorbidities associated, including increased risk of illness, disability, and death. We should focus eating habits from childhood to maturity. Added to this is the trend in recent years of the growing risk of childhood obesity. The necessary solution is confronting the problem from the very beginning.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, ‘In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese’(2016, WHO). Furthermore the number of obese doubled since 1980 and reached 2 billion worldwide in 2015.
Obese children and adolescents have a much greater chance of becoming obese as adults. If we look at the general causes of childhood obesity we can find effects like modernization, inadequate physical activity and improper diet. More often children are doing less physical activity and have begun to lose their concepts of healthy eating coinciding with the continuing development of food and technology. The fast-food industry is remains a hurdle in many countries because it is convenient, cheap alternative which can lead to an improper diet.
Calorie-rich drinks and foods are readily available to children. Consumption of sugar-laden soft drinks may contribute to childhood obesity. In a the study by Silve Spring, 548 children over a 19-month period the likelihood of obesity increased 1.6 times for every additional soft drink consumed per day.Calorie-dense, prepared snacks are available in many places frequented by children(2006, Silve Spring). As childhood obesity has become more prevalent, snack vending machines in school settings have been reduced by law in a small number of localities. Eating at fast food restaurants is very common among youth and they have lots of options to order in moern society. Both online and delviery options increase the uptake of poor quality foods. A study of 1800 children aged 2 to 12 in Colac, Australia tested a program of restricted diet (no carbonated drinks or sweets) and increased exercise. Interim results included a 68% increase in after school activity programs, 21% reduction in television viewing, and an average of 1 kg weight reduction compared to a control group (Jamie Oliver, 2006).
The rising rates of childhood obesity is exactly the same as obesity in adulthood in that it has many causative factors. As afore mentioned changing diet and decreasing physical activity are believed to be the two most important causes for the recent increase in the incidence of child obesity. Remaining obese from childhood, then persisting into maturity, may cause many chronic diseases like hypertension, diabets and hyperlipidemia.
What can we do about obesity?
Parents can change their consumption in positive way so that these fundamental behaviours can flow down to effect the diet and lifestyle of their children. This may contribute to the reduction of obesity but it is a complex problem. Parents can provide appropriate food portions alongside increasing physical activity to their children. There is a need to control the amount of electronic device use for children. More time outside playing, exploring, and other physical activities is invaluable; parents have to support and encourage.
The recognized program of compulsory education of enhancing sporting activities in schools with the co-operation between students, teachers and parents is one of the solutions but it needs continual work and improvement. Education about eating and obesity must be considered in multiple settings: sociological, psychological and cultural. Finally, another important element for the implementation of the program for obesity is across the board cooperation from all societal institutions.
According to the research obesity can take away around 13 years from your life. Save your life.
Some tips for checking yourselves:
BMI =(weight in kilograms) / (height in meters)2
According to WHO(World Health Organization) Body Mass Index;
- under %18.5 less weight
- from 18.5 to 24.9 normal weight
- from 25.0 to 29.9 overweight
- from 30 to 39.9 obese
- from 40.5 to 50 morbid
- 50 and more super obese