Our observations as part of the Medigym initiative at Fayth Clinic has thrown light on the extent of obesity related issues in our children and teens today, and the picture is quite alarming. Obesity is not just weighing down on their overall health but on the quality of their social life as well.
The reasons behind the growing numbers….
The development that we have witnessed in the recent times and the associated advancements that it has brought about in our lifestyles are not all bad. However, the changing food habits, our affinity for all things instant and the waning importance of physical activity has robbed off the quality of childhood and adolescent health today, making them susceptible to a number of diseases.
Another important aspect contributing to obesity is the family genetics. A history of overweight people in the family is not to be taken lightly. Obese children are at a greater risk of growing up to be obese adults developing a host of medical diseases like early onset high blood pressure, diabetes, insulin resistance, joint problems, PCOS, respiratory problems, decreased immunity, skin rashes and many more. These may start from teen years and extend well in adulthood, if not taken care and dealt with on an emergency basis. The typical Indian Concept of healthy child ( Khata-Peeta bacha ) has now been replaced by a healthy child in the right weight for age and height as per the national Indian Academy of Pediatrics norm.
Most of the common NCDs (Non-Communicable Diseases) present in children today are a product of unhealthy lifestyle. Some of the common obesity related morbidities include the following.
- Diabetes Mellitus – children and adolescents with obesity are more susceptible to be affected by Type 2 diabetes, a potentially dangerous condition in the long run.
- Obstructive sleep apnoea – the number of kids affected by sleep apnoea is quite surprising with about 22 percent of our adolescent population known to be affected by different varieties of it.
- Cardiovascular diseases – children and teens affected by obesity are known to have an increased probability for acquiring cardiovascular condition
- Fatty liver disease -nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases are known to have an incidence of about 33% among obese children.
- Depression is another condition that has seen an increase in the rate of incidence among children. While they may or may not be directly linked to obesity, being overweight or obese does have serious implications on the emotional well being of our kids. The social isolation, teasing and peer pressure develops a poor self-image, affecting the emotional growth of the child.Our children are not just the most precious of our possessions, they are our valuable successors to take forward the legacy and development of our nation. They have a lot to accomplish and we shouldn’t allow such factors as an abnormal BMI pull them back. Every Healthy Child leads to Healthy Nation. So let’s practice a healthy lifestyle for a healthy and robust tomorrow.