Will we be able to curb childhood obesity? The Alphabet of Nutrition reaches with the letter “O” one of the most alarming problems that threaten and threaten health, health in general, and that of children and adolescents in particular
Childhood obesity has become, according to the World Health Organization, a pandemic that extends to many countries and affects many people.
Childhood obesity must be treated as a true public health crisis, Anabel Aragón, head of Nutrition and Health at Nestlé, has stated with determination in “El Scalurí”, from the “O” of Childhood Obesity in the Nutrition Alphabet.
In Spain, the prevalence of child overweight is one of the highest in Europe; 4 out of 10 children and young people between the ages of 8 and 17 are overweight or obese. 26 percent overweight and 12.6 percent obese. It is a problem of great magnitude and enormous importance, reaffirms Aragón, in line with the concern of health experts, institutions and organizations.
Obesity has important consequences: social, economic, health; and it must be addressed from the moment the first signs appear, regardless of age.
When is a child considered obese? Henar Fernández asks Anabel Aragón
To assess obesity in childhood there are various methods, says the nutritionist; age, sex, weight and height are related to the Body Mass Index, and a comparison is established with specific percentile tables.
Obesity is a multifactorial disease, there is no single cause, it usually begins in childhood and adolescence; Genetic factors contribute, aspects that are investigated by nutrigenomics, but family eating habits and lifestyle are the most important causes, explains Anabel, who points out that an unbalanced diet and a sedentary life are its breeding ground.
Aragon refers to the pediatrician’s control to combat obesity and ensures that it is easier to correct the remedies as soon as possible. She asks for the involvement of parents through good nutrition for their children and asks them to lead by example.
A balanced and controlled diet is the best therapy.
Are there any tricks or steps to this proper diet? Yes.
Don’t leave counterproductive food temptations in plain sight for children.
Limit sugary products. Sweet pastries and drinks only in very exceptional situations.
Do not buy what they should not eat.
Adjust the portion to his age and use small plates.
That they drink water and do not entertain themselves with games, video games, technology, television.
The physical danger of obesity is the accumulation of fat -adipocytes- that develops; In the infant stage, these cells are overgrowth. If this is allowed to happen, then it becomes more difficult to correct the problem; You should never think “when I grow up I will lose weight”.
Childhood obesity, a risk factor for other diseases
Childhood obesity, Anabel Aragón contextualizes, is a risk factor for other diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, among others; These diseases that until recently seemed only in adults, increasingly occur more in children or young people who are overweight or obese.
And what to do so that the child eats everything?
First, listen to the child about the amount that she wants to be served, ideally they self-regulate.
You have to eat consciously, in small plates and in a small amount. If they want to repeat, let it be the first course and the fruit. The water by hand; you have to accept that they reject some food; and you don’t have to force them to finish the plate.
It is important to eat in a relaxed way, not in less than 30 minutes, but that the child is not left alone to finish the dish, and you should never use food as a reward: it can be a gain in the short term, but not in the long term , and also nothing educational.