Tackling obesity in children

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More than 30% people of the society including children have potbelly abdominal obesity. India is witnessing an epidemic of metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by abdominal obesity, high triglyceride, low good cholesterol, high blood pressure and high sugar.

Abdominal girth of more than 90 cm in men and 80 cm in women indicates that the person is vulnerable to future heart attack.

Normal weight obesity is the new epidemic. A person could be obese even if his body weight was within the normal range. An extra inch of fat around the abdomen increases the chances of heart disease by 1.5 times.

Normally once the height stops growing, most of the organs will also stop growing. The weight of the heart, liver of kidney cannot increase after that. Only muscles can build up to some extent. The only thing, after that stage, which can increase the weight of the body, is deposition of fat. Therefore any weight gain after puberty is invariably due to fat. Though the overall weight can be in the acceptable normal range but any weight gain within that range will be abnormal for that person. One should not gain weight of more than 5 kg after the age of 20 years in males and 18 years in females. After the age of 50, the weight should reduce and not increase.

Potbelly obesity is linked to eating refined carbohydrates and not animal fats. General obesity is linked to eating animal fats.

Refined carbohydrate includes white rice, white maida and white sugar. Brown sugar is better than white sugar. Refined carbohydrates are called bad carbohydrates and animal fat is called bad fat.

Trans fat or vanaspati is bad for health. It increases the levels of bad cholesterol and reduces good cholesterol in the body.

Reduction in weight can reduce snoring, pain of arthritis, blood pressure and control uncontrolled diabetes.

Some points

1. Skip carbohydrates once in a week.
2. Combine a sweet food with bitter food (prefer aloo methi over aloo matar).
3. Walk, walk and walk…
4. Consume green bitter items in foods such as karela, methi, palak, bhindi etc.
5. Do not eat trans fats (vanaspati).
6. Do not consume more than 80 ml of soft drink in a day.
7. Do not consume sweets with more than 30% sugar.
8. Avoid maida, rice and white sugar.