Childhood obesity normally refers to serious medical conditions in children and adolescents as a result of excess body fats. Obesity results to overweight whereby children have weight above the normal weight for their height and age. Childhood obesity is known be the beginning of adulthood obesity. More so, it subjects children to health problems such as high cholesterol, High blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases that were once known to be for the old members of the society (Ogden et al., 2010). Additionally obesity in children is believed to lower their self esteem and in most cases children with obese problem end up being depressed.
Research shows that currently cases obesity in children has increased three times more than how it was in the past three decades. The most affected country is the United States of America where percentage of children with obese increased from 7% in 1980 to 20% in 2008 for children aged 6-11 years and from 5% to 18% for children aged 12- 19 years. It is therefore crystal clear that we need to prevent our children from obesity if at all we care about their healthy and their future. Medical research shows that major causes of childhood obesity include genetics, developmental factors, psychological factors, illness dietary factors, inactive lifestyles among others (Deckelbaum & Williams, 2001). However, it is possible to prevent childhood obesity by implementing three basic methods explained below during child development.
The first and most important way of preventing childhood obesity is by ensuring that a child is well breast fed and has access to regular medical checkups. Research shows that proper breastfeeding prevents a child from becoming obese. When a mother breastfeeds her child, she gives her necessary immune and support that enable him/her to grow health and active. On the other hand, regular medical checkups give a doctor an opportunity to measure child’s weight and calculate his or her BMI in order to detect cases of overweight that could lead to obesity at early stages (Ogden et al., 2010).
Another important way of preventing childhood obesity is by encouraging healthy eating habit among children. It is very natural for children to develop craving for sugary and junk food such as snacks and chips. However most of these foods are not nutritional though very tasty and if taken in large quantities they can result to childhood obesity. Therefore it is important to ensure that we serve a wide variety of food to our children in order to balance their diet. It is also advisable to lead children by examples by eating with them so that we can monitor their eating habits. Additionally, it is important to know the amount of food our children require at different ages to avoid over and underfeeding. It is worth noting that children spend most of their time in school and therefore it is important to ensure that foods sold in their school canteens are health and of low fats (National Center for Health Statistics (2004).
Lastly, it is important to promote active and health lifestyle among children. It is important to ensure that children are active in most of their times so that they can burn excess calories. Children normally eat more than they require and it is important for them to play and engage in other active community activities to ensure their bodies are healthy. Therefore, schools should have playgrounds where children can play. This should be extended to homes whereby children should not be allowed to spend most of their time on watching television. On the contrary they younger ones should be allowed to play around the homestead and elder ones are supposed to help in domestic chores (Gard, 2010). As children grow up, their parents and teachers should teach them on how to live health lifestyles hence avoiding being obese. The above three measures are the most basic and easily applicable methods of prevent childhood obesity hence promote healthy future generations.