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Childhood obesity - Childhood Obesity is the new age epidemic all over the world and we are not far behind! This is especially so in children of higher socioeconomic status in India. Recently, a study in Delhi schools showed that every 3rd child in private schools is overweight.

Why worry about this?

Childhood obesity has significant impact over a long term on the children’s health. Obese child grows up to be an obese adult which further increases the risk of associated medical problems significantly. It puts them at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid disorders, early heart attack and stroke. In addition, it can cause problems with depression, back pain, early arthritis, low self-esteem, body image problems, etc.

What can we do to decrease problems with childhood obesity?

Changes have to be brought about at each level – starting from home – educating parents and teachers about healthy diet and importance of exercise. Knowing and understanding the cause, emotional impact of this, encouraging children to be sensitive to these children, encourage them talk to their parents about this if it is affecting them.

Seek help on time! They don’t have to put up with their weight for the rest of their life. There is professional help available!

Providing healthy food and snacks at school. Not to stock or sell junk food or drinks in the school.

Educating the teachers and other school staff about the need to be sensitive to these children, they are the role models and children will learn what they see.

How is our centre helping the children and the community?

We aim to create awareness and understanding among children and their parents about the impact of obesity and how it affects their life in future.

We do regular education sessions to help empower people with the knowledge and understanding of healthy snacks and healthy eating which will help them manage their weight in future.

Our Centre has been doing health screening camp for children at risk of obesity and generates a report for the school detailing the proportion of students who are at risk of obesity and children in the category of obesity. We also give individual, specific recommendations for each child depending on their BMI percentile. This helps build a foundation regarding creating awareness about this growing epidemic which is affecting our future generation tremendously. Prevention is the key!!