CHILD OBESITY

CHILD OBESITY AND WAYS TO DEAL WITH IT

An average, every third child or adolescent is obese or overweight. Childhood obesity is an epidemic (institutional outbreak) that unfortunately leads to serious health problems. In Ukraine more than 15 thousands new cases of childhood obesity are detected (diagnosed) every year. Now such health problems as high level of cholesterol, diabetes mellitus type II, high blood pressure, social problems and low self-esteem, insomnia (sleep disorder) and sleep apnea (sleep disturbances), orthopedic problems are much more common among toddlers that were previously inherent only in adults.

70-80% percent overweight children will be obese in adulthood. Obesity increases the risk of developing heart disease, oncology and stroke; the latter are the leading causes of death among adults.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY?

Obesity and overweight are medical classifications that are defined by body mass index. Сhildren’s body mass index varies with age, so doctors use growth diagrams (charts) and percentiles to determine the classification of body mass. Overweight is determined when body mass index varieties from 85 to 94.5 percentiles, and obesity when the BMI is more than 95 percentiles on the growth chart (diagram).

AGE WHEN CHILDREN’S EATING HABITS ARE FORMED

Child's health basis is formed from the period of the mother's pregnancy to 5 years. Pregnancy is a critical period when mother's health and habits, her diet and physical activity directly affect the developing baby (child).

The basics of child’s eating behavior is instilled in the early years. He or she begins to understand the feeling of hunger, satiety, determines the food and snacks’ benefits, motor skills are being developed. Sleep and activity mode are being set up. This is the foundation for the child’s further development.

Lack of exercise (physical activity), sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy food (junk food) and adverse environmental factors are issues that contribute to the development of obesity. The important thing is that all these factors can be controlled.

WHAT HABITS HELP CHILDREN LOSE WEIGHT?

It is important to understand that the child should not be restricted in food. The child or children should be in the environment of healthy habits; firstly, parents should be an example.

IT IS NECESSARY TO USE RULE «5-2-1-0»

The purpose of these rules is to slow down the accumulation of excess weight, and develop healthy eating habits.

Healthy habits reduce the development of diseases, even if the body weight has not decreased yet. Weight loss has a major impact on the long-term health perspective. Studies show that obesity before adolescence dramatically reduces the development of obesity in adulthood.

Excessive number of screens, including phones, computers, video games, and TVs, cause less physical activity among children both at home and at school. A sedentary lifestyle means that there are no exercises in a child's life for his/her healthy development. The right energy balance is the fundamental basis to ensure a normal weight.

SEVERAL USEFUL TIPS PARENTS CAN USE TO HELP THE CHILD NOT GET EXTRA CALORIES

Healthy lifestyle habits will help your child make the right decisions about his/her health in adulthood.