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Childhood Obesity.

By Dr. Sheetal, September 12, 2015

Childhood obesity is most serious public health challenge affecting globally especially in urban settings.
Overweight is defined as excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, water or combination of all three.

CAUSES-
Fundamental cause of childhood obesity is imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.
1.      DIETincreased intake of energy-dense food, high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micro nutrients.
2.       LIFESTYLE– decreased physical activity levels due to increasingly sedentary lifestyle and increased urbanization, lack of outdoor activities.
3.       HORMONAL DISORDERS- Insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, Growth hormone deficiency, Polycystic ovary syndrome
4.      GENETIC CAUSES- Down syndrome, Turner syndrome
EFFECT OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY-

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According to WHO overweight and obese children are most likely to develop non communicable diseased like diabetes,cardiovascular diseases at a younger age and are also likely to stay obese in adulthood.
1.      Physiological-

  • diabetes mellitus
  • artherosclerois
  • osteoarthritis
  • dyslipidemia
  • high blood pressure
  • metabolic diseases
  • gall bladder disease
  • liver diseases
  • asthma
  • sleep apneoa
  • iron deficiency
  • poor immunity
  • premature death in later stage

2.      Psychological-

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • low self esteem
  • disordered eating
  • behavioral problems
  • poor academic performance

PREVENTION-

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Focus should be on identifying at-risk and overweight children and adolescents at early stage and educating healthy lifestyle habits.
Some tips for parents-
1.      Encourage healthy eating habits
2.      Make favourite dishes healthier
3.      Remove calorie-rich temptations
4.      Help your kids understand the benefits of being physically active- parents themselves should set a good example for their children where physical fitness is considered.
5.      Help kids stay active- 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily.
6.       limit “screen time” (TV, video games, Internet) to no more than two hours a day
7.      Nutrition education and healthy eating habits should be emphasized in schools and family.

TREATMENT-
1.      Healthy eatingWeight loss is not a good approach for most young children since their bodies are growing and developing. Hence calorie restriction i.e. focus on low calorie and high protein with increased vitamins , minerals and other micro nutrients in meals.2.      Physical activities–  physical activities like walking, cycling, sports and outdoor activities should be increased. Reduction in sedentary lifestyle- PC games, television, indoor games should be made.

3.      Behavioural therapy
Do not set overweight children apart. Involve whole family to change family’s physical and eating habits. Counsel and educate children about healthy lifestyle changes at academic levels

4.      Treatment of associated conditions like Insulin Resistance or other hormonal disturbances.

5.      Modern technologies like Ion Magnum
When we exercise our brain sends signals to the corresponding muscles. Ion Magnum mimics these signals so that the muscle tissue is made to believe that it is performing a muscle-toning workout. In return what you get is the benefits of an intense, professional workout minus the pain, physical exertion or inconvenience of conventional exercise. Ion Magnum not only reduces both surface & visceral fat but also builds muscles & improves muscle mass. This naturally increases metabolic rate which further initiates weight loss. It is a FDA approved, Non-surgical & completely safe technology.

Dr. Gauri Kanade,
Associate Doctor,
Define Aesthetics, Pune

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