Infant and Children | December 2, 2016 | Author: Naturopath
There has been an increase in the rates of overweight and obesity amongst adults and children, both in Australia and globally.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the Australian Health Survey, states that in 2011-2012, 25.1% of children aged 2–17 years were overweight or obese (based on Body Mass Index).
Childhood obesity is associated with a range of serious health problems such as obstructive sleep apnoea, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, as well as psychosocial problems including depression, social isolation, and low self-esteem. In addition, childhood obesity is a strong predictor of adult obesity and carries a substantial economic burden.
Obesity is defined as a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat. It is usually measured by Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared.
Sedentary behaviour. Sedentary behaviour describes sitting or lying down while awake. Research has shown that over the past 20 years, Australian children have become more sedentary.
More children are being driven to school, rather than walking or riding their bikes, as well as spending more time on the Internet, social media, and electronic games.
Childhood is the period of time where unhealthy behaviours begin to establish. Parents/caregivers involvement is a crucial component of obesity prevention.
Expose your child to healthy food. Limit your child's consumption of sugar-sweetened food and beverages, offer water at meal time, and provide plenty of fruits and vegetables, and healthy snacks.
Talk to your health care provider. If you feel that your child is gaining weight, your health care provider can refer you to a qualified dietitian or nutritionist for a weight-reduction diet.
Knowledge is power! Educate yourself about nutritional basics and healthy foods for children. Join a Facebook group, find a website that promotes health and wellbeing, or visit your nearest community health centre.
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