Obesity among children has become a big concern not only in the US, but all over the world. Out of the overall population of children in the US, one third is obese and the number is still rising. Obesity is not at all a healthy sign. Obese children are prone to heart diseases, cholesterol, diabetes etc. It also gives rise to low self-esteem, stress and sadness.
How Preschoolers Are Affected by Obesity
Obesity leads to several negative psychological and health consequences for children.
Negative Psychological Symptoms
- Poor Body Image
- Risk of Eating Disorders
- Learning Disability
- Behavior Problems
- Low Self Esteem
Negative Health Consequences
- Insulin Resistance
- Early Puberty
- Sleep Apnea
- Orthopedic problems like slipped capital femoral epiphysis and Blount’s disease
- Low HDL cholesterol levels in the blood
- High Total and LDL Cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
- Type 2 Diabetes
Apart from the above mentioned problems, children are more likely to remain obese as adults. Hence, they are prone to strokes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer and hypertension.
What Contributes to Obesity Among Children?
Below are the major reasons that contribute to obesity among children:
- Unhealthy diet practices such as sugary and fatty foods as part of daily diet.
- Lack of fruit and vegetables from the diet is also a reason.
- Lack of physical activities among children is a major reason for weight gain. Children should get involved in outdoor physical activities such as games and exercises.
- Some parents overfeed their children which does not go well with their metabolism and results in weight gain
Tips for Parents and Preschools to Prevent Obesity
Prevention of obesity is not an easy task but these tips will definitely help:
- The diet of the child should be discussed between the parents and a dietitian. As a result, the child will eat healthy food and maintain good health.
- Preschools or day care centers should pay more attention to outdoor games and physical exercises to make a child strong and confident.
- If the preschool or day care center provides lunch, make sure that the diet has been approved by a dietitian.
- Encourage children to take part in sports and games. Apart from this, preschools can arrange yoga classes for preschoolers. It will help them maintain good health and will also make them mentally stronger.
A child’s health is very important. Parents and preschools must take care of it. The tips mentioned above will definitely do wonders for your child.
At First School, we try to educate parents about the importance of a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. If we notice any child bringing unhealthy food to the school, we talk to their parents and advise them to give healthy food to their child. We also ask parents to cut down daily screen time for their child.
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.