Friday, June 19, 2009

Is your child obese?

In keeping with my previous post I would like to again bring out that “You are what you eat”. We as adults know the calorific value or the importance of what is right. Or so I feel. As a parent, I believe it is a dual responsibility of keeping ourselves fit and also see to it that the children get the right nutrition and eat right. It becomes our responsibility to guide and also inculcate the right eating habits in our children. Studies show that 32 per cent of children in the US are overweight and 16 per cent are obese. This sure is reason for major concern.

Yes, I do agree that getting kids to eat a balanced healthy diet with so many distractions around is a Herculean task. However, as parents we do have a responsibility to fulfill. Going through articles on child obesity and new items in the papers has been really scary. Kids have a long life ahead of them and least we can do as parents is to ensure that they remain healthy.

When on one hand, getting your child to eat vegetables and other nutritious food can be difficult, they do get into the habit of nibbling on chips, burgers and hot dogs real fast. Guess what is it that makes these foods so addictive? However, the reason for wrong eating habits can be indeed dreadful and so we are witnessing with the rising childhood obesity problem.

Child obesity has come to be one of the biggest problems or hazards of our lifestyle that we are facing today. Can you imagine a whole generation that is growing up on unhealthy eating habits and an obese lot of children growing up into adults with all kinds of medical problems? What are we moving towards? Its time we take stock of the situation and try to make a difference NOW.

One reason for this growing obesity problem is no or reduced physical activity. Taking to any sport and playing any game must be encouraged. They definitely need to spend some time everyday outdoors. Another contributing factor is “convenience”. We find it convenient to take out a pre-processed packaged food and serve. However, no pain no gain. If we want to truly rectify the situation it definitely involves some effort. It sure is worth it.

One more thing in favor of child obesity is that many of us parents are really not ready to acknowledge the situation and accept that we have a problem at hand. A little awareness and introspection will make a positive difference according to me. Being a mom of two grown up children I can actually vouch for how some understanding of eating habits and an effort to inculcate the right habits can make a big difference.

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