Saturday, 22 July 2017

Is Socializing The Key To Prevent Childhood Obesity?

Exactly how many times have we come across posters for World Obesity Day and World Diabetes Day where the primary figures are children? Is it not the time to face the fact that childhood obesity is one of the largest global health concerns right now? Why are we not accepting that when statistics say 17% (or 12.7 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese, it includes or may include our children too?

Some of the health risks that children face due to obesity

·         Obese children stand at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases including possibilities of heart attack, increased levels of Triglycerides that block veins and blood vessels, preventing blood flow to the heart.
·         They also tend to develop muscular and joint pains quite early in life. This makes movement and other physical activities quite difficult.
·         The higher glucose levels in their blood make them susceptible to diabetes in the future.
·         Children having Obesity tend to be ridiculed and stigmatized by their friends at school or college or elsewhere, due to their inability to conform to the standard norm of “beauty”. This leads to mental pressure and often manifests itself in the form of body image issues, eating disorders etc.

Child Obesity - Causes

Now that we have a fairly basic knowledge of the health risks of obesity, we need to know what the primary causes of child obesity are.

·         The largest and the most widespread causes of obesity in children would be consumption of junk food or fast food. It is the time that we stop taking our children to the chains of fast food joints that have opened up all over the globe like mushrooms.
·         Lack of physical activities, which can be attributed to the intense academic pressure, competition and busy lifestyle.
·         Media’s representation of food products and the general commodity fetishism of the social order.

How does Socializing of Children help Prevent or Eradicate the problem of Child Obesity?

·         Parents and their role in stamping out the problem of obesity –
Well, first we have to understand that the idea of living a healthy lifestyle or taking care of you is the thing which our children learn from us, the parents. If they see us eating pizza for dinner, they will do the same, just like they will eat organic vegetables if they see us doing the same. A lot of what children do is acquired behavior, so at the basic level, how our children lead their lives or carve their future, is dependent upon us. So why not set an example for them to follow?

·         Secondary education that children receive at schools
We all know that schools are the best place for our little ones to socialize and interact with others of their ages. The years at schools and their interaction are what form the fundamental building blocks upon which the rest of their lives are built. So why not start spreading awareness at such fundamental levels?

One of the most widely recognized and accepted ideas to eradicate child obesity, is by introducing various health awareness and related health risks programs and classes in school. Such programs have a two-fold task - that of fostering growing minds with the idea of healthy lifestyles, as well as sensitizing the parents about various sociocultural factors aiding in child obesity and the social forces that make our children take their health for granted.

Our children are the future. Let’s make sure that we take care of them so that they can take care of everyone.

1 comment: