The changing dietary practices and sedentary lifestyle have led to an increased prevalence of childhood obesity in the 6 to 12 year age group children in India.
Obesity is one of the major health problem worldwide. Childhood obesity is a health issue seen in both developed and developing countries. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk of health. Childhood obesity is associated with high risk of adulthood obesity and a series of health problems such as insulin resistance, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type II diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease and psychological problems.
According to the WHO, BMI is one of the best indicators for obesity and is classified as underweight (<18.50), normal range(18.50 – 24.99), preobese(25 – 29.99) and obese(>30.00). Obese is further classified as class I, II & III.
Children with BMI above the 95th percentile are termed as Obese. The fundamental cause of obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and expended. There is an increased intake of energy dense foods that are high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals & other health micro-nutrients.
A trend towards decreased physical activity levels, which is due to the increase in sedentary nature of many forms of recreation activities, change in the modes of transportation and increasing urbanization. With social development, increse in the use of technology by using mobiles, tablets, and computers changes the lifestyle of children and adolescents that leads to lacking of physical activity.
Various exercises have been designed for obesity such as Aerobic exercises, Jogging, Rope jumping, Endurance running & Basketball are found to be effective.
Health education is found to be useful for creating awareness among the children & parents which include increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts. The study also reported reduction of consumption of meat, snacks, western fast food, eating in restaurants and sugary drinks among children and parents.
Regular physical activity is important for prevention and management of obesity. It also helps in reducing the risk of disease which are caused due to obesity.
According to current evidences the moderate intensity exercise lasting for 45 – 60 min/day is required to prevent weight gain & 60 – 90 min of moderate exercise is required to sustain long term weight loss.
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