Childhood obesity now a major concern in hyderabad city
Secunderabad: Obesity is increasingly being found in the children aged between 9 to 15 years. A large number of children in the city are facing the threat of obesity.
Children are being introduced to junk foods which are very high in calories. As a result, they develop dysfunctional eating habits which are harmful for their health. Rather than going out and playing, children are confining to home.
Speaking to The Hans India, Dr Purnima Nagaraja, Mental Health Professional, Dhrithi Wellness Clinic, said, "Mothers always wish to see their children having healthy food.
However, the children will always wish to have something different from their regular routine and thus, go and have junk foods outside. Later when this affects them physically, the parents unknowingly taunt and blame their children which can affect the children mentally."
She further added, "Children nowadays are going through a lot of stress like educational stress or parental. During exams they wish to have more salty foods and sweets which is called as stress eating."
Nowadays, children have no physical activities which is another big reason leading to obesity. Obesity develops in children who lack peer group activities and enjoy being alone with phones and other electronic gadgets.
They have no proper break for them to have something healthy. During this isolation children eat more particularly when they are anxious. Dr Purnima speaking on eating disorders said children nowadays have been showing eating disorders like anorexia nervosa (extreme thinness), bulimia nervosa (intake of food to such an extent until one vomits).
"Apart from these eating disorders, the third one is Orthorexia. Mothers are obsessed with healthy food and over doing it; children go out and have food when they are given pocket money."
The Nizam's Institute of Medical Science (NIMS) states around 25 per cent of children who are aged between 9 to 15 years are obese. According to a research by National Institute of Nutrition, schools where children spend a major part of their day have a big role in demolishing childhood obesity.
"Ensuring that at least one hour a day is dedicated to sports is very important to reduce childhood obesity. Schools and parents should be sensitised on healthy diet for children," said Dr A Laxmaiah, an epidemiologist and public health nutrition specialist at the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN).