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Your kid's weight should be a real matter of concern for you. In today's world, the number of obese and overweight children is increasing at an alarming rate. Gaining excess weight and being obese poses the risk of numerous health problems in children. The disorders are diabetes, heart diseases, asthma and many others. Obese children face a lot of problems in their social lives, are teased and neglected. This causes lack of self-confidence and self-esteem in obese children. They develop a negative body image and depression. However, by taking proper measures, your child can regain normalcy. Eating disorders may also occur in obese children, and they are also likely to develop substance abuse habits.
The major medical conditions that an obese child can face are:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Problems in bones and joints
- Sleep disorders
- Liver and gall bladder disorders
Is your kid having the right weight?
The growth rate in children varies with time and stages. Hence, it is difficult to tell whether your kid is overweight. You should measure your child's BMI to find your answer. BMI or body mass index uses the height and weight measurements of a person to calculate the amount of body fat and is used for screening obesity problems. BMI is effective in general and provides accurate data. In some cases, it may be imperfect. In case your kid has a high BMI for age measurement, other assessments are made to detect obesity. The assessments include skin thickness measurement, diet evaluation, physical activity and family history.
How to check obesity in your kid?
In order to rectify obesity, a lot of changes must be made in a child's regular habits and schedule.
- Food patterns: You should feed your child a wide range of fruits and green, red, orange and yellow vegetables. Having a proper breakfast reduces chance of obesity and should not be avoided. Focus on healthy cereals and fruits. Other than reducing the intake of chocolates, desserts and fried junk food, food items containing hidden sugar should be avoided. Go for low sugar food items. The meal times of your child should be fixed, and this pattern should be followed. Also limit having outside food. Avoid foods, which contain trans fats.
- Physical exercise: Your child should be involved in regular physical exercise or workout. Let them go out of home and exert themselves, as this would keep them fit and away from obesity. For obese children, exercise will burn calories and help in losing weight.
Your kid's weight should really concern you. You should avoid your kid getting obese and make him/her follow all necessary precautions. In case you suspect obesity in your kid, get the BMI measured.
Childhood obesity is a serious condition plaguing many adolescents and children these days. Obesity brings along with it a plethora of health scares such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, all of which at a point of time were confined only to adults. Obesity in children also results in depression and self-esteem issues. Too much of calorie consumption accompanied by a sedentary lifestyle and other hormonal or genetic factors contribute to obesity in children.
Overcoming Childhood Obesity-
Healthy Eating: Consider opting for vegetables and fruits over high-calorie and fatty foods such as crackers, cookies or other processed foods. Cut out on the intake of sweetened beverages that makes your child too full to grab other healthy foods. Encourage sitting together for a family meal and initiating interaction rather than turning on the TV or other electronic gadgets. Allow your child to decide his/her proportion of food and never over feed. This habit should be inculcated in the child since the formative years.
Engaging in Physical Activity: Make sure and talk your child into not spending more than two hours sitting glued to the TV set or the computer on a daily basis. Rather, egg him/her on to go out in the open and enjoy the day underneath the sun. Try and start building in your child the habits of exercising and staying active right from the beginning. This will go a long way in deciding your child’s health and overall fitness in the future. Remember! Morning shows the day. And it’s up to you to structure out your child’s ‘morning’.
Quick Tips For Parents-
Play time or physical activities in ways that your child enjoys, such as going for a walk or hike, playing at the park, playing sports, dancing or going for a bike ride (and join them!)
Healthy home-packed lunches
Drinking more water and eating whole vegetables
Eating when you are truly hungry, not when you’re bored, mad, stressed, etc.
Eating together as a family
Decreased meal sizes
Focus on health rather than taste
Too much screen time
Eating while watching TV or other screens
Negative food cues and triggers by removing them
Skipping meals if you are hungry
Eating if you are not hungry
Eating by the clock (you should eat when you’re truly hungry)
- Too much sugary drinks (sodas and fruit drinks)
A pediatrician manages a child's overall physical and psychological health condition. While most parents consult a pediatrician when the child falls sick, they miss the importance of regular visits to the doctor even if the child is seemingly healthy. There are recommended schedules which prescribe regular visits to the doctor from about a week after the birth of the child. The visits are more frequent up till the age of 6 or 7, after which a monthly visit is usually sufficient. The following is a list of reasons why your child should be taken to a pediatrician every month:
1. Documenting the rate of growth
The pediatrician measures the child's weight and height during every visit and charts them. This is important for comparison with the average rate of growth and pin pointing the problems in normal growth (if any) and the reasons for these problems. For example, if a 4 year old girl is in the 80th percentile for height, it means that 80% of the girls her age are shorter than she is and 20% are taller than she is. The rate of growth is an indicator of a child's general health.
2. Detecting deviations in developmental patterns
There are well-defined physical and emotional developmental patterns for children of all ages. For example, a child starts using signals to communicate by 4 months, or starts talking by the age of 2. A pediatrician can spot deviations from the standard patterns better than parents can. Apart from the measurement of height and weight, sometimes hearing, motor skills and vision tests are also conducted on your visit to the pediatrician to ensure that these basic systems and functions are developing properly.
3. Identifying reasons behind behavioral problems
Behavioral issues in children can be caused by a number of reasons - their inability to correctly express physical discomfort, bonding or attachment issues with the parents or caregivers, interactive problems with peers in school etc. Common behavioral problems are snoring, sleep walking, bed wetting, outbursts of anger, lack of social communication etc. The problems can be prevented from becoming complicated conditions if treated early.
4. Prevention of diseases
The schedule for all the required vaccinations is maintained by the pediatrician. Apart from immunization, regular visits to a pediatrician are important for pointing the beginning symptoms of certain diseases. Nutritional deficiencies, which are very common in children, can be diagnosed and addressed before they lead to health problems. Often parents become extremely apprehensive about the child's health- their queries can be answered and their worries can also be put to rest by these visits.
Vitamin D is a group of fat soluble nutrient that is an incredibly vital necessity for your body’s proper growth as it helps in the absorption of calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphate and for multiple other biological reactions of our body.
Now the major issue about Vitamin D is that our dietary sources are inefficient to fulfil the Vitamin D requirements of our body since foods do not contain much of it. Sunlight is the only major natural source of Vitamin D for a human being. Our skin synthesizes the vitamin through complex organic reactions with the help of the UVB radiation of the sunlight.
How is Vitamin D deficiency harmful to your body?
The most important function of Vitamin D is to help the body absorb various other nutrients from our diet and incorporate it into our bones and other necessary parts. Thus, due to Vitamin D deficiency bones become weak, soft and brittle, and results in conditions such as Rickets and Osteomalacia. Recent researches have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to prostate, breast and colon cancer. Reducing the inorganic mineral content of our body Vitamin D deficiency takes a severe toll on the body from childhood.
How to combat the deficiency among Indians?
Vitamin D deficiency is now an epidemic in the South Asian countries, and India is no exception. About 65-70% Indians are vitamin D deficient despite the abundant sunlight they receive. It is essential to understand the contributing factors that lead to this situation to remedy the problem.
The first and primary issue is that Indians are reluctant to go out into the sun. From households to professionals, everyone prefers to stay away from the only major source of Vitamin D, and even when they go out, they cover up themselves. Lack of knowledge and fear of getting their skin tone darker seem to be some of the nastiest causes that keep the everyone under the shade. Along with these problems, use of sunscreens and completely vegetarian diets are also responsible for the epidemic.
A majority of Indians have a darker skin tone, which means the melanin content of their skin is comparatively much higher. Melanin prevents the formation of Vitamin D from sunlight. As a result, the Indians need much-extended exposure to sunlight which they do not get.
Obesity in Indians is another primary issue that causes the excess fat in the body to soak up the necessary Vitamin D of the body, causing its deficiency.
Learning from the stated causes we see that the only ways to prevent this disease are, much more exposure to sunlight, consuming Vitamin D rich diets and obviously fighting obesity. In cases where the deficiency is observed doctors would prescribe supplements to ensure proper functioning of the body. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is characterized by periodic bouts of nausea and vomiting that happens at cyclical intervals. It affects all ages, but is more common in children. The condition is quite stereotypical in that there are paroxysms or bouts of vomiting that is recurrent and follows days of normal health.
There is no definite reason identified, but it is said to have a strong hereditary correlation. Studies have shown mitochondrial heteroplasmies (abnormal growth of mitochondria, which is a cellular component) to be one of the factors that can lead to CVS. The genetic correlation, however, is very difficult to establish, specifically because vomiting and nausea are common symptoms that occur with most conditions in children. And CVS is most commonly noted with conditions like infections and emotional excitement. Infection could be either tooth decay or sinusitis or anything else. Lack of sleep, anxiety, holidays, allergies, overeating, certain foods, menstruation – a host of factors have been shown to induce CVS. There is also a strong association with migraine and conditions that lead to excessive production of stress hormones.
The syndrome (a group of symptoms) usually has 4 phases:
Symptom-free interval phase: The child is completely normal in this phase, which happens in between bouts.
Prodromal phase: Prodrome is an indication that a disease or a condition is about to happen. In CVS, this is usually nausea and abdominal pain that can last from a few minutes to a few hours. Treatment in this phase can curb the disease. However, there could be some children in whom this may not manifest and the child may directly start with vomiting.
Recovery phase: As the nausea and vomiting begin to subside, which may take a couple of days, the child returns back to normal slowly. However, the lethargy and energy levels will take a couple of days to return to normal.
Treatment again depends on the severity and the phase at which it is being recognized. If a child has repetitive bouts, then the parent and the doctor would have identified a pattern to it.
If the causative agent has been identified, for instance, infection or migraines, then managing that takes care of the CVS also.
If identified during the prodromal phase, again it can be managed with suitable anti-emetic medications.
If identified after full onset, rest and sleep and medications to control nausea and vomiting are required.
Adequate hydration with electrolyte replenishment and sedatives can provide additional support. However, in most cases of childhood CSV, the pattern will be identified and that helps in better management, both the child/parent and the podiatrist.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Obesity is the condition wherein a person has an excessive body weight as a result of genetic or lifestyle related factors. This condition if not taken seriously can be life threatening as obese people are at risk of developing chronic conditions like diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, and may also lead to a heart attack. Hence it is crucial to undergo weight reduction.
Calculate the weight you need to lose
Before you begin to practice effective steps for losing weight consider the amount of weight you need to shed. You should first measure your current weight and then calculate your body mass index (BMI) to find the amount of deviation from the recommended range. Then consider the difference between your current and ideal weight as your target weight.
Tips For Losing Weight
1. Eat Right
- Consult a nutritional expert- It all starts with the right diet. An Individual’s eating habits contribute significantly to his weight. If you are obese or overweight, then you should consult a health expert and have him prepare the appropriate diet based on your weight and body type.
- Balanced diet- Make sure you have lean meats, fruits, and green leafy vegetables as part of your diet. Also, cut down on the amount of food you consume and your intake of sugar, salt, and fats gradually. Also, water is the best medicine since it flushes all the toxins out of your body. Make it a point to drink around 2 litres of water on a daily basis. It will help clean your system and also keep you feeling full and hydrated.
- Regular meal time- Another effective tip is to eat regularly. If you skip meals, then your body starts storing excess fat to act as a reserve. If you eat regular meals in small portions, you not only slow down the fat storing process but also reduce the quantity of food you consume.
- Healthy options- Moreover, switch immediately to the modern-day marvel that is green tea. This seems to be very effective as of late and is helping obese people greatly since it is rich in antioxidants. If you do not prefer green tea, then aloe vera juice is an even better alternative.
An obese person needs to exercise regularly. If you find it difficult to do exercise, take baby steps. Start with easy sitting and lying exercises. Go out into the open such as a garden and perform these exercises early in the morning for just 10 minutes. As you build your stamina, increase the intensity gradually.
3. Manage stress
Shed some of that stress in your life as stress and weight are directly correlated. Lose out on stress, and you will also lose those extra pounds.
4. Don’t neglect sleep
Six to eight hours of sleep is essential for a healthy being. Insufficient sleep results in increased levels of cortisol. Cortisol is associated with weight gain.Hence, it becomes crucial to rest enough.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!