Pay attention to childhood obesity

So what causes obesity?

· Age: The risk of obesity increases with age.

· Gender: The increased risk of obesity in women compared to men draws attention.

Genetic factors: 25-30% play a role. There is a strong relationship between the overweight of the parents and the overweight of the child.

· Social – economic problems: The risk of obesity is higher in developed countries and societies with a high socioeconomic level. Apartment life increases the risk of obesity in social problems such as adverse environmental conditions in urban life.

· Lack of physical activity: Increasing children’s tendency towards television and computer with developing technology, apartment life without green spaces, lack of children’s playgrounds in urban areas, not using stairs, collective-individual vehicle use, etc. For reasons, the tendency of children to live inactive is increasing day by day.

· Family factor: Many factors such as fragmented families, elderly parents, single child, family conflict increase the risk of obesity.

Nutrition factor: Correct choice of food in complementary nutrition, taste, lifestyle, advertisements, tendency to fast food nutrition.

Of course, apart from all these, there are increasing screen times in the extraordinary situation we are in. Due to the fact that schools are on holiday due to Covid-19, our children spend more time at home, in front of the screen, and their physical activities have significantly decreased. Studies show us that every 1 hour spent in front of the screen increases the risk of being obese in adulthood by 7%.

In a recent study, it was shown that children who spend more than 4 hours in front of the screen (television, tablet, video, computer, etc.) show less physical activity and have more BMI than children who spend less than 2 hours in front of the screen.

And of course, one of the most important points is that a diet rich in sugary drinks is one of the leading factors that cause obesity; It is known that children who consume too much carbohydrate and sugary drinks are also at risk of micronutrient deficiency.
Studies have shown that skipping meals, especially not having breakfast, directly predisposes to obesity.

What can be done?

· Prepare healthy snacks and main meals for your children, do not force them to finish the whole meal in one sitting. In particular, families force their children to finish all of their plates, which causes excessive eating in the future.
· High calorie, high fat intake and sugary snacks should not be prohibited, but should be limited.
· Children like to help out in the kitchen. You can ask your children to help prepare snacks and main meals.
Encourage them to try new foods. Make sure your children eat starting from the food they like least.
Avoid rewarding or punishing your children with food.
· If you think your child is overweight, be sure to consult a pediatrician and nutritionist to have their growth and development curves checked.
Consult a nutritionist about your child’s daily nutrient needs and nutrients they should take.
Try to make small changes, starting with small steps.
· Respect your child’s appetite. Choose special portions for him and use special small plates and glasses for him.
· Take care not to have high-calorie foods at home and not introduce your child to ready-made foods from a young age.
· Avoid the consumption of foods with high sugar and fat content.
· Do not reward your child with unhealthy foods. This behavior may cause them to perceive that this food is beautiful and healthy.
· Set limits for the time spent in front of the television and computer and keep it moving.
Help him gain the habit of eating meals at the dinner table with you.
· Develop a regular activity with your child.
· Instead of insisting on foods he dislikes, try putting foods in front of them in other forms. Shopping together and going into the kitchen will help in this regard.
· Be supportive of gaining the habit of drinking water.
Try to develop healthy alternatives instead of unhealthy foods for snacks.

Do not forget that; healthy eating is only to protect our health. It is a planning that we can do without strict rules, only our own right choices.