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Tips to avoid childhood obesity

 

The childhood obesity is one of the major diseases of the XXI Century. In 1990, 32 million children between the ages of 0 and 5 were overweight; this figure stood at 41 million in 2016. If the trend continues, by 2025 there will be 70 million obese children.

In the last 40 years, the numbers of childhood obesity have skyrocketed. In the case of Spain, according to the World Health Organization , between 1975 and 2016, the percentage of obese children has increased in boys from 3 to 12 percent, and in girls from 2 to 8 percent. Thus, it is worth taking into account a series of tips to prevent children from becoming overweight.

Causes of childhood obesity

There are two factors that have a direct influence on this disease: diet and sedentary lifestyle.

Feeding

Today, the diet of many, many households around the world is based on convenience foods and sweets . Although it is true that they are very attractive to the little ones, they do not have the vitamins or nutrients necessary for them to develop correctly, and grow strong and healthy. In addition, these types of foods are high in fats and sugars that do not do any good to the little ones.

Ideally, children should consume 2,000 calories a day , and at least half of them are covered by carbohydrates, a third by healthy fats, and a third by protein. Thus, it is important that the little ones eat adequate food: bread, rice, legumes, vegetables, fruit …

Sedentary lifestyle

To bad eating habits must be added the fact that children are increasingly sedentary. The leisure activities practiced today by the little ones revolve in the vast majority of occasions around the computer and television; activities that significantly promote childhood obesity. According to recently published surveys, Spanish children spend an average of 180 minutes a day watching TV and playing video games .

It is very important that children play sports and spend time outdoors. In addition to preventing overweight, physical activity is very beneficial for both your physical and mental health.

Dangers of obesity in childhood

The dangers of obesity during childhood are many, such as type II diabetes or high cholesterol levels. In addition, many of the consequences of being overweight at this stage are chronic, so that children continue to suffer them in their adult lives.

  • Hypertension: there are currently a large number of children suffering from high blood pressure, which is directly related to obesity.
  • Type II diabetes: in the same way, it is increasingly common for children to suffer from this type of diabetes. Excess body weight is precisely the factor that most influences the development of this disease.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea: those children who suffer from obesity tend to suffer apneas during their rest hours due to lack of breathing. This directly influences their learning process since the next day they are tired, thus reducing their attention span and concentration.
  • Obesity in adult life: the longer the time children spend with a weight above the recommended, their chances of suffering from this same disease in adult life multiply.
  • Emotional problems: childhood obesity not only has physical consequences in children, but also emotional ones. Although there are more and more campaigns against bullying, the truth is that obese children continue to be mocked by their peers, which directly affects their self-esteem .
You may also be interested in:   Moor’s Reflection

How to avoid being overweight in children?

Parents play a fundamental role in preventing obesity in their children. There are a series of tips and advice to promote a healthy lifestyle so that children grow strong and healthy.

Healthy nutrition

The little ones should eat a healthy and balanced diet. Ideally, they should have at least one or two servings of fruit or vegetables a day . Fish is also very beneficial for your health; three or four servings a week is fine. And, as for legumes, the ideal amount is three servings a week.

The most important meal of the day for children is breakfast , which should cover 25% of their daily nutritional needs; It should include a dairy, cereal, and fruit.

It is not only important what you eat, but also how it is done. It is highly recommended that at least one of the daily meals be made as a family and with the television turned off; take advantage of that moment to talk about how your day has been and enjoy your time together. In addition, it is a fantastic opportunity to instill healthy lifestyle habits in the little ones.

The sweets are loved by children, although they are not healthy at all; they are high in sugar and provide very few nutrients. A good tip is to set a day per week in which they can enjoy the treats, preferably on Saturday or Sunday.

Sport

Of course, it is also important that children play sports regularly to prevent their body weight from gaining excessively. A very good option is to bet on team sports; in this way, they also develop their social skills . Ideally, children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

In addition, weekends can be used to do family activities , such as a hiking trail. Children love being in contact with nature.

Lead by example

Do not forget that children are like “sponges”; their environment has a significant influence on their development . Therefore, it is useless to repeat a thousand times to the little ones that they must eat properly and practice sports, if the parents lead an unhealthy lifestyle.

The childhood obesity is a problem today that we should try to avoid by all means. It must be taken into account that an excessive weight has very negative consequences on the health of the little ones, some of which can last even into their adult life.

 

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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