Studies from the USA suggest that 22% of children and adolescents are overweight and that 11% qualify as obese. Since 1990, the number of childhood Type 2 diabetes cases has risen from 4% to 20% with the 10 to 19 year age group being at the highest risk of falling pray to this condition. South Africa promises to follow, with a surge in children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – a common result of children being over weight or obese.
DO OBESE PARENTS HAVE OBESE CHILDREN?
Children under the age of ten who have obese parents, carry double the risk of obesity in adulthood regardless of their current weight.
Other factors that can increase the likelihood of childhood obesity are:
- Low family incomes
- Little educational stimulation
- Not being breastfed as infants
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF OBESITY AND WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT IT?
Children are vulnerable to advertising yet few healthy options are promoted in the media. School tuck shops can play an important role in decreasing obesity by selling healthier food.
- Gassy cool drinks and fruit juices are major contributors to childhood obesity. Most fruit juices are filled with sugar and contain little nutritional value. Water and herbal teas are far healthier alternatives.
- Families have largely abandoned the traditional family meal. Meals, consisting of convenience foods are often eaten in front of the TV. Regular healthy meals make for a more balanced lifestyle.
- Children often eat foods with refined sugars and fat. They should be encouraged to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables, as recommended in dietary guidelines.
SureSlim’s personalized eating plans are based on a child’s food preferences and take into account the timing and location of meals and snacks, food preparation and the need for physical exercise.
Talk to SureSlim about how your child can avoid childhood obesity and live a long and healthy life.