Childhood obesity is a chronic problem frequently found nowadays in US children. It is becoming an epidemic of the modern era because of lifestyle changes and more indoor activities. Outdoor activities have been limited and lifestyle has been luxurious to such an extent that children have become lazy and lethargic. It is very important to find the problem and try to eliminate it in its initial levels so as to reduce the complications.
How Do You Fight Childhood Obesity In The US?
Whether the child has entered childhood obesity or is at risk, a few simple measures can prevent and treat the condition.
Diet:- First and most important step to counter this condition is the management of diet. Limit the over nutritious foods like sweetened beverages, high glucose and sugar products, candies, lollipops, sweets, etc. Carbohydrate-rich products like biscuits and other flour products should also be cut down to the requirement of the child according to its age group. Giving small and frequent meals will curb hunger and promote satiety. A balanced diet should be followed. It is difficult to stick to a single type of food item in case of children so variety should be added without increasing the calorie intake otherwise it will not yield the required results. Junk food and street food should be avoided as much as possible but should not be completely stopped if the child is already addicted to it. The progression of limitations should be gradual so as to do not frustrate the child.
Lifestyle:– Second most important step is the modification of lifestyle followed by the child. Limiting the indoor time spent by the child in activities like playing video games, watching TV, using a computer etc. It will not only reduce the strain on eyes and mind but also will make the child look for other activities that are not indoor. Promoting outdoor sports like basketball, football etc. which are commonly followed sports in the US will increase the interest of the child in such sports. Enrolling your child in extracurricular activities in the school and notifying the teachers to involve him in the sports and other physical activities can make the child more curious and adaptable to the environment.
Exercise:- Following is a strict exercise pattern that is neither recommended nor physically possible to apply in case of the children because they tend to get bored and annoying when the same schedule is followed daily. Involving extracurricular activities in the schedule of exercise and introducing new games and keeping the child curious will help to maintain the exercise schedule and also curb the problem of childhood obesity. Adequate sleep and an appropriate sleep-wake cycle should be maintained because abnormality in sleep can also imbalance the hormones and increase the problem of childhood obesity.
Even after following all such advice, regular visits should be paid to the doctor and proper intimation should be given about the progress of the child. If the doctor suggests about the medical treatment to be required then and it should be followed with the proper regime and follow up. Do not skip the guidelines because every treatment is as much important as the life of your child because it can save your child from dangerous complications that may arise out of childhood obesity.(1)
Due to the luxurious lifestyle in the US, the problem of childhood obesity tends to be more dangerous than in other developing countries. But there is nothing to worry about because following a few simple steps can reduce as well as treat the condition and save your child from dangerous complications. Medical treatment is also available for it but it is not the first-line treatment and is used only when the other measures fail to improve the condition of the child. Regular checkups and visits to the pediatrician can prevent childhood obesity or lead to early diagnosis.
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