Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Overweight kids....what can we as parents do???

Post exams a regular influx in my office is parents of children who are most cases on their way to becoming obese. Long hours of studies, tuitions, exams & zero physical activity for months or maybe even for an entire year. Irony is, by the time they visit my office the parents are determined to enrol the child in a weight loss program in an attempt to make the child lose weight, where as the child is now in the mood to enjoy her new found  freedom for a couple of months. While the child was fed goodies throughout the year,she is now expected to eat healthy. A child who did nothing but sit for hours with her books for the entire year is now expected to suddenly get into a formal exercise program.

What is important is to first determine the cause of weight gain in children:
1) Faulty eating habits
2) Inactivity
3) Hormonal changes - common in children as they approach adolescence
4) Stress - very common in children, can cause release of the hormone cortisol which can cause weight gain.
5) Genetics

Once the cause is determined a appropriate weight loss plan can be put into action. However, it is crucial for parents to understand that a structured diet & exercise plan may fail miserably with children, especially those under the age of 12. Children at this age have little understanding of ’ideal weight' 'medical implications of obesity' 'health promoting foods' etc.

So what can we as parents do to help our children:

1) Change foods habits at home. Children imitate adults, hence if you eat healthy they will follow sooner or later.

2) Try modifying recipes of fast foods & so called 'junk' foods to something healthy (will upload some interesting options on our recipes page)

3) Try & make food look appealing & interesting...colours & forms attract children.

4) Avoid 'preaching' about healthy eating to children. Most kids react negatively when forced to eat particular foods. 

5) Limit the number of times you eat out & also restrict the number of times fast foods are cooked at home.

6) Make sure your child plays 'outdoors' for at least an hour each day. Caution here is to also make sure the time in spent in active play & not chit chatting.

7) Encourage your child to participate in at least one sport of her choice. That way there is a greater chance she may stick to the activity.

8) Limit computer & TV time to no more than 2 hours a day.

9) Obese children may also be conscious about their weight & may refuse to take part in outdoor activities. Make sure you watch out for signs of regression before you label your child 'lazy'.

10) Empathize with your child & take equal responsibility for her condition.

Healthy living

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:26 PM

    This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost.
    ..HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say,
    and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

    My site; Slimatrex review