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Parents should be role models

Portugal has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in Europe. A worrying fact that needs reflection. Get to know more.

Obesity is a chronic disease that affects more and more people and has become a serious public health problem worldwide. The World Health Organization has even considered this disease the epidemic of the 21st century. Unfortunately, the Child obesity is no less worrying.

In 2016, there were more than 124 million obese children and adolescents, which means that the number of obese children in the world has increased 11 times in 40 years. If the numbers are worrying, the consequences of this disease on the health and lives of these young people are no less alarming. know more

Childhood obesity: everything you need to know

The early signs of childhood obesity are not very different from those we associate with childhood obesity. obesity in adults. Generally, these symptoms appear at an early age and consist of:

Among the consequences of these complications is the increased risk of cardiovascular diseasewith all the other risks that come with it.

Causes of childhood obesity

As in adults, childhood obesity is generally associated with excessive fat accumulation, due to calorie intake greater than the amount of calories expended. In addition, there is a growing abuse of products such as sweets, fats, juices, among other sugary foods.

Among the factors that favor this situation may be genetic, metabolic, behavioral and environmental (social and cultural) factors.

In children, overweight can be related to several circumstances, such as:

Diagnosis and treatment

To diagnose childhood obesity, the same method used in adults is followed, that is, the Body Mass Index (BMI), dividing weight by height squared. In this case, the result must be analyzed taking into account the age and gender of the child.

To treat obesity, it is necessary to implement a balanced food diet It is encourage physical activity. In very specific cases, it may be necessary to resort to pharmacological therapy or surgery.

The treatment of obesity must be designed and guided by a multidisciplinary team, not only composed of doctors, pediatricians and endocrinologists, but also nutritionists and psychologists.

It is important for children to enjoy healthy foods such as vegetables or fruit. In this sense, food (re)education is fundamental, so that they naturally adhere to their new food plan.

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Parents are the role model

Unlike obesity in adults, where patients are the main drivers of change, in childhood obesity, parents play a decisive role, not only because they are the ones who determine what is eaten and the activities that are done, but also because they are role models for children.

So, in addition to improving your diet and getting more exercise, there are other changes in your family routine that can have a positive effect on weight loss. Take note:

  • family dinner, without watching television;
  • not using food as a reward;
  • use positive reinforcement;
  • spending quality time with family;
  • offer a choice between healthy alternatives (between two pieces of fruit, for example);
  • not having easy access to bad foods;
  • practice about 30 minutes of physical exercise a day;
  • maintain coherence.

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