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There is a popular maxim that it is not obesity that runs in the family; the problem is that nobody runs in the family. While only half true, it is an unassailable fact that childhood obesity is a serious health issue plaguing young children and adolescents, exposing them to an unwelcomed plethora of health risks and diseases right up to adulthood.
A report released by the World Health Organisation’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity last year forecasts the number of obese children to proliferate from 42 million in 2013 to 70 million by 2025. Closer to home, there is also a spike in obesity rates among schoolchildren in Singapore, from 11 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2014.
As these startling figures continue to rise, it is incumbent on parents to sit up and get a clear picture of what childhood obesity is, before deciding the best course of action to take in their fight against the paunch.
From Fat To Flat
The good news is that obesity can be prevented. Helping your little ones embrace a healthy lifestyle can significantly lower their risk of becoming obese and contracting related diseases. Create an environment where good dietary behaviour and physical activity are always encouraged and implemented.
If your child is diagnosed to be overweight or obese, it is crucial to make them feel supported and be reminded that they are still being loved regardless of their weight, as you make changes to their lifestyles. With the prevalence of fat-shaming, schools and communities also play a role in providing kids with healthier food options and making regular physical activity accessible. In the battle of the bulge, all parties have to pull their weight to ensure children get the childhood they deserve.