Identifying Key Factors Leading to Obesity

The tendency for obesity can be identified at a very young age and parents must take the initiative to guide children from 5 years of age or teenage to be fit and eat healthily so that obesity can be prevented rather than struggle and suffer for a lifetime. Three key factors can help you to identify if your child has a strong tendency for this or not.

1. Take note when your child is repeatedly choosing to eat very rich, oily or fatty foods like butter, ghee, cream, chocolates, pastries, ice cream, Indian sweets, or deep-fried snacks like potato wafers, French fries, namkeen or lots of red meat.

These children regularly complain when they have to eat their meals of normal food like bread, egg, cereal and milk or rice and dhal or roti, dhal and of course veggies and fruits. They would say that all of those things are so boring and usual and there is no fun eating it or simply say they are not feeling hungry. Whenever it is mealtime, they would be very angry and irritated if they donít get their tasty food to eat.

2. The second factor, is children who from a very young age want to eat a very large quantity of whatever they eat. These children may not be fussy about fancy tasting food but always want to have second or third servings of the regular food and each serving too is very large by standard of the amount other children of that age would eat. Some of them even want to eat very often. Every one or two hours they keep asking for food or saying that they are hungry.

3. The third factor is to be aware of the medical history of both parents. Many people who become obese in teenage or adult hood could be genetically caring diabetes or thyroid problem from their ancestors. Both these conditions could result in a lower metabolic rate and that means that, this individual does not burn enough calories in a day. These extra calories will get stored as fat in the body.

Early indications of this lower metabolism can be identified by parents when you see that the child is not so interested in running about and playing but prefers to sit in one place and read or watch T.V. Also, if they do try to run or exert themselves, they get tired very quickly and complain a lot.

Here are some simple steps to prevent the obesity

  1. Make sure that a lot of effort is taken to plan the home menu so that children are eating three carbohydrate and protein balanced meals daily. When the meals are not balanced then children develop craving for sweets or very rich food and then it becomes a habit.

  2. At a young age the parents must give or serve the foods in the right quantity and again balanced so that children learn how much is sufficient and donít get into the habit of eating till they feel stuffed with the food. Also, there should be proper timing for food. If the mealtimes vary a lot and the child stays hungry for a long interval then definitely she/he wants to over eat at the next meal. Try to avoid the nibbling and snacking in between meals and allow only fruits, milk, buttermilk and plenty of water between the three meal times.

  3. From a young age, age five onwards children must be encouraged to play or walk in the park, go for dance classes or swimming classes, ride a bicycle, or play a sport in the evenings after school. One of the parents must take time out to help the child and supervise this time so the child is regular about this.

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