Obesity cases are spiking in children which means too much body fat and a higher body mass index (BMI) is a silent killer leading to higher mortality rates. Certain factors such as eating a diet high in calories, a sedentary lifestyle, genes, a sluggish metabolism, lack of sleep, stress, suffering from endocrine disorders and intake of junk, processed and canned food can lead to obesity in children.
Did you know obesity cases are not only rising in adults but even adolescents? Being obese can make teenagers fall prey to a variety of health problems or serious complications. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Padma Srivastava, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals in Pune’s Lullanagar, revealed the 5 problems that occur owing to obesity:
1. Hypertension and cholesterol – Those children who are obese will have high blood pressure or even high cholesterol. These things can lead to heart disease in the longer run.
2. Diabetes – Obesity can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can cause resistance to insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar. When obesity causes insulin resistance, blood sugar levels will be higher than the recommended range.
3. Joint problems – Did you know? Being obese can induce joint pain. It will impact the knees and can cause knee pain of walking or doing any other activity. One will also be at risk of osteoarthritis.
4. Sleep apnoea – One who is obese will also have sleep apnoea which is a fatal sleep disorder wherein one gasps to breathe. It tends to interrupt sleep throughout the night and causes sleepiness during the day. It can lead to heavy snoring. The risk for other breathing problems such as asthma is higher in an obese child.
5. Depression – Those with obesity will be depressed, anxious, stressed, and frustrated. They will have poor self-esteem, will be irritable, nervous, and feel lonely. They may avoid social interactions and be confined to home due to being overweight. Such kids may have body dysmorphia and they will also be fat-shamed or bullied.
Tips for weight loss in adolescents:
Dr Padma Srivastava suggested, “As parents, you need to take various measures to help your kids lead a healthy life. Try to make sure that the kid follows a well-balanced diet inclusive of all the vital nutrients. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, pulses and lentils in their diet. Kids should avoid the junk, canned, processed and oily foods.”
She added, “They need to exercise daily and do activities such as jogging, cycling, swimming, gymming, aerobics, Zumba, walking or running. Try to de-stress by doing Yoga or meditation and maintain an optimum weight. Parents can take the help of an expert who will guide them regarding what to eat and avoid.”