Childhood Obesity In Urban India-Causes-Solution

In my childhood the only option we had to binge was Wada-Pav (back then we also used to play a lot ), we never heard or had access to so many multi cuisine restaurants all over. In India now everything is available to kids plus Going to Mcdonalds and Dominos is must to stay connected in society. Kids gets exposed to all kinds of junk foods let it be Indian, Japanese, Chinese, European ,Americans etc at very early age. Kids have money and tantrums to get that ,where Parents have social pressure ,money, status and time limit to cook for them and outcome is rising obese children.

                         By 2025, India will have over 17 million obese children and stand second among 184 countries where the number of obese children are concerned, says a study published in Pediatric Obesity, an international journal. Most national and international schools in India sell pizzas, burgers and cold drinks in their canteens without being aware about the health implications. It is weird to have two extreme sides in India, While the Indian government is struggling to manage on the mid-day meal programs for malnourished children to save the generation, the officials will also have to look at these obese children from upper classes or urban areas in near future.

 How To Help Your Overweight Child


                                      What is child obesity?  How Do You Know If Your Child Is Obese?

Although the most sophisticated methods are magnetic resonance imaging or dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and Densitometry. Most of the advance techniques are not available in India. Though it is not best way but BMI is easy way to measure obesity in kids. It is calculated/defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2) Body Mass Index After calculating your child’s BMI, you would have to plot it on a BMI chart and check if he lies above or below. Weight charts are used for determining whether they are overweight or not.

 What are the common reasons for obese kids?

1) Food/Calorie Intake

Indian children and teenagers nowadays loves to eat fast foods instead of eat a healthy diet. These fast foods are very rich in fast carbohydrates and trans (bad)fat are considered as the major reason for childhood obesity. You must have seen enough teenagers eating junk or fast food in schools or college joints. That is why children in Cities like Mumbai ,Bangalore, Chennai ,Calcutta are more at risk. Junk food offer less nutrition and calorie dense.

2) Lack of Physical Exercise

Mobile, laptops, I pad are inherent part of young generation’s lifestyle. According to survey kids these days spent 24 hours a week browsing/screen. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting screen time for elementary children to two hours per day. Kids these days rarely goes to play grounds, rather they spend time in front internet or television.

3) Genetic Factors

Genetic factor means what (number of fat cells present to store fat) you carry in genes from your ancestors .Kids whose parents are overweight may be at an increased risk of becoming overweight themselves, but this can be linked to shared family behaviors such as eating and activity habits. But it is majorly about lifestyle which includes not limited to food, physical activity ,rest etc.

4) Recovery/Sleep

Sleep is must for all age group. Everyone should get min 6 to 8 hours of sound quality sleep in day. Sleep plays big role in becoming obese.

5) Social Factors

Social support and influence plays big role in everybody’s life,that includes but not limited peer pressure, poverty, apartment you stay, school you chose to study and so on. In urban cities opportunities for exercise may be limited if there are no recreation areas in the neighborhood etc.

How to take care of child obesity in India?

1) Parents Role

a. Be supportive

You never know parents may be the real reason for it, so tell your child that he or she is loved, is special, and is important. Children’s feelings about themselves often are based on their parents’ feelings about them. Accept your child at any weight and any problem. Children will be more likely to accept and feel good about themselves when their parents accept them and their problems. Stop judging and listen to your child.

b. Encourage healthy eating habits

This can be and should be start with education about food and lifestyle. Hire personal trainer in Mumbai and certified dietitian to understand basics of food and physical activity. Buy diet consultation and discuss with your child. Biggest mistake parents do is to plan kids meals, guys you are not certified dietitian , they need calories to  grow too, so hire experts.

2) School Role

a. Be Support

Everybody on earth wants to have perfect body/figure in world but they cannot make it because there are reasons for it. Sometime you know the reasons, sometime you are helpless. So as a school teacher do not judge your students, rather stand against bullying over obesity which is very common.

b. Education

School management should become platform for certified personal trainer in fitness industry, certified dietitian and parents. At a time parents does not know what is right way to address obese kids. Kids go through lots of stress that too reflects on eating(bad). They should also send parents for counseling in case it is needed.

3) Friends/Social role

Certain social factors like your neighborhood or city or temperature cannot be altered but human attitude should be modify, we all should have sympathy and compassion towards each other in all aspects of life. We are humans we can communicate , we got communication power not just say our feelings but to support each other too.

Obese children are at higher risk to develop type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea, Joint problems, musculoskeletal discomfort, Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn) and psychological problems such as anxiety and depression and Low self-esteem. Obesity is a complex condition with biological, genetic, behavioral, social, cultural, and environmental reasons to it.



FITNESSSMITH – Mayur Deshpande



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *