Being overweight during childhood and adolescence is okay


According to eating disorder specialist and dietician Anna Lutz, instead of worrying about the increasing weight of children, parents should focus on taking care of children both emotionally and physically. Let them play in nature for at least an hour everyday. Get yourself involved in sports with them. Apart from this, weight gain can be prevented by controlling screen time.
According to The World Obesity Atlas 2023 report, obesity among Indian children and adolescents is increasing twice as fast as in 2020, and by 2035, about 4 billion people will fall into the category of obese or overweight.

Its risk is highest in Asia and African countries. Between 2020 and 2035, where the rate of obesity among Indian adults is estimated to be 5.2 percent, the rate among children will be 9.1 percent, which is more worrying.

How much overweight is healthy?

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides weight charts that can be used to monitor a child's growth and development. The Baby weight chart by month is based on a child's age, weight, and height, and are used to determine whether a child is underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese.
To know if your baby is overweight according to WHO weight chart, you can follow these steps:
  • Measure your baby's weight and height accurately:
Use a reliable scale to measure your baby's weight and a measuring tape to measure their height. Make sure to measure your baby without clothing.
  • Plot the measurements on the weight chart:
Using the WHO weight chart, find the appropriate chart for your baby's age and gender, and plot the measurements. The chart will show the percentile ranking, which compares your baby's weight and height to other children of the same age and gender.
  • Interpret the results:

If your baby's weight falls between the 5th and 85th percentile, they are considered to be a healthy weight. If their weight falls between the 85th and 95th percentile, they are considered to be overweight. If their weight is above the 95th percentile, they are considered to be obese.

The Health Impacts of Childhood and Adolescent Overweight

Being overweight in childhood and adolescence can have both short- and long-term negative effects on health. mainly in

  • Diabetes:

Being overweight increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition that affects the body's ability to control blood sugar levels.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), overweight and obesity are responsible for 80–85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Heart disease:

Being overweight in childhood and adolescence can increase the risk of developing heart disease in later life.

Research suggests that overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence are associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.

  • Joint problems:

Being overweight puts extra stress on the joints, which can lead to joint problems like osteoarthritis. This is especially true for weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 40 years, with 1 in 5 school-age children and youth classified as overweight or obese. The CDC also reports that overweight and obese children are more likely to become overweight or obese adults, which can lead to even more serious health consequences.

The Social Impacts of Childhood and Adolescent Overweight

Some of the possible negative social consequences of being overweight during childhood include:

  • Bullying:

Overweight children and teens often show signs of bullying and teasing by their peers. This leads to feelings of shame and low self-esteem.

  • Social isolation:

Keeping overweight children and adolescents away from social activities, such as sports or other physical activities

  • Poor self-esteem:

Children who are overweight experience low self-esteem and negative body image, which affects their mental health and well-being.

The Psychological Impacts of Childhood and Adolescent Overweight

Being overweight in childhood can also have negative psychological effects on individuals, especially at a time when self-image and identity are being formed.

  • Depression:

Overweight children and teens may experience symptoms of stress for  weight loss.

This causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness in them.

  • Anxiety:

Overweight children and adolescents may also experience symptoms of anxiety, such as excessive worry and fear, which can affect their daily functioning and overall well-being.

  • Poor body image:

Children and teens who are overweight may struggle with poor body image and negative self-image, which can lead to low self-esteem and self-worth.

Root Causes of Childhood and Adolescent Overweight

  • Genetics:

Genetics can play a role in determining an individual's body weight and composition. Children who have overweight parents or siblings are more likely to be overweight themselves.

  • Environmental factors:

Environmental factors, such as access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity, can also influence an individual's weight. Children who live in neighborhoods with limited access to healthy foods or safe places to exercise may be at a higher risk for overweight.

  • Sedentary lifestyle:

Many children and adolescents spend a significant amount of time engaging in sedentary activities, such as watching television or playing video games, which can lead to a lack of physical activity and weight gain.

  • Unhealthy diet:

A diet high in processed foods, sugary beverages, and fast food can contribute to weight gain in children and adolescents.

  • Psychological factors:

Emotional eating, stress, and other psychological factors can also contribute to childhood and adolescent overweight.

Ways to reduce the increasing weight in children.

Encourage healthy eating habits: Formula of 2:1:1: 
Keep 50 percent of the total food of the children i.e. 2 parts of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables provide the body with all the essential vitamins, minerals, dietary nutrients and fiber foods for weight loss. The amount of calories in these is very less, due to which there is no feeling of hunger for a long time.
Feed more grains Include whole grains as 25 percent i.e. one portion carbohydrates. They contain antioxidants and phytochemicals including fiber, vitamin B, iron. 60 percent of the energy for the operation of the body comes from this. Include milk, pulses, curd, cheese, tofu, nuts etc. as 25 percent i.e. one part protein. With this, the body gets essential elements like iodine, iron, zinc, vitamins and fatty acids. The risk of diseases decreases.
Portion Control: Teach children about portion sizes and encourage them to eat slowly and stop when they feel full. And consider daily healthy eating plan for weight loss
Don't give fast food
It is very important for overweight children to control fast food and junk food. Keep children away from them as much as possible. 
Drinking more water:
Buttermilk, lemonade are good alternatives Sugar sweetened beverages like soft drinks, packaged juices etc. are called liquid sugar. Consuming them in addition to the diet taken in the form of food increases the calorie intake.
They also increase insulin resistance. As a result, the risk of diseases like obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease increases. Instead of this, make a habit of giving children buttermilk, lemon-water and plain water. Not only do they quench thirst properly, but they also help in flushing out toxins from the body.

Follow a good routine There are many effective ways to reduce weight and promote a healthy lifestyle in children. Which sport is best for an overweight child According to the US National Institute of Health, traditional games such as rope jumping, hide and seek, pittu (sitolia kho-kho), tug of war, hula hoops etc. are effective in keeping children physically active. About 10 minutes from rope jumping, according to WebMD. Kids burn up to 125 calories.
Do rope jumping Jumping rope briskly for 10 minutes expends the same amount of energy as jogging.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children up to age 5 should be active throughout the day, while children up to age 17 should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity almost every day, which helps with weight control. Sleep: Make sure kids are getting enough sleep as lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain. Screen Time: Maximum 2 hours of screen (TV + mobile) damage is called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) in the long term. This causes complaints like eye pain, dry eye and strain, blurred vision, difficulty in focusing, headache. According to the National Institutes of Health, children who spend more than 2 hours a day on an electronic device are affected in their thinking and language abilities.

In this article, we discussed how overweight during childhood and adolescence is ok. How can you take care of your child's future worries? We considered the main factors of overweight and told the effective measures of overweight to the children. We have not mentioned any medicine in this article. Whatever remedy is told, it is just like home remedies. Even if your child is not Verveite. Even then, these remedies cannot harm your children in any way.
And for any information and doubt, you can consult your doctor.




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