Children are unable to enjoy their Childhood fun due to the alarming rate at which obesity is rising. Surplus weight sets their heartbeats racing, making them averse to outdoor games. Many a health problems arise due to obesity namely diabetes, blood pressure and heart ailments which catch on the children early in life. Many studies, over the years, have thrown up medical evidence that Asians have a genetic predisposition to heart-related ailments.
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In fact, the National Family Health survey among the 15-49 age group done by International Institute for Population Sciences, found that between 8.5 to 29 percent youngsters (6-18 years) are overweight, while 1.5 to 7 percent are actually obese in urban India. The problem is worse among children in higher socio-economic classes where it's around 22 percent. Also, as we are aware there are an increasing number of children who are obese due to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
Also read: Causes Of Type 1 Diabetes In Children
It's also seen that Type 2 diabetes which commonly occurs in the people of age group 40 and above is occurring in the children of age group 12 and above. This is all due to the food habits of the children and lack of physical activities. Much more than an aesthetic issue, childhood obesity is a major health problem. A growing wave of obesity among children is helping fuel a parallel epidemic in the rate of diabetes. In the last two decades, the incidence of obesity among adults and children has risen nearly 50 percent.As defined by federal standards, approximately 30 percent of adults and 25 percent of children are considered obese today. Raising children is challenging under the best of circumstances.
When a child has a chronic disease such as diabetes, the challenges become even greater. Fortunately today, advancements in treatment and monitoring of blood glucose levels have made diabetes far less difficult to deal with than it used to be. Still, it is a serious condition with potentially critical complications and requires lifelong monitoring and treatment.Exercise helps to lower blood sugar, so regular activity is an important part of treatment for children with diabetes. There is no reason for them to sit on the sidelines during gym classes or to avoid joining teams. It's a good idea for your child to have snack foods to help maintain his/her insulin balance. Children should also always carry glucose tablets, sugar cubes or hard candy to treat low blood sugar.
A Few Tips:
- Help your child develop healthy eating habits
- Maintain a regular schedule for meals and snacks
- Test blood glucose levels four times daily
- Make sure your child has a source of sugar on hand at all times to treat low blood sugar
- Glucose tablets are best
- Make exercise a normal part of everyday activities
- Don't let your child use diabetes as an excuse to avoid things
- Encourage full participation in academic, social, and sports activities
- Join parents' discussion groups or support groups to learn how others are facing the same issues that you are
- Reassure your child that diabetes is not his/her fault, and that they didn't do anything to cause it
(With inputs from Dr. Prakash Jhuraney)
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