New Delhi, October 12, 2017: In 2016, an Official data in had revealed that over 41 million children below the age of 5 were affected by obesity. Without due attention and efficient treatment, they are likely to remain obese throughout their lives, with an increased risk of developing a host of diseases and physical and psychological consequences like anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even premature death.
In view of an escalating number of people constantly coming under the ambush of obesity, and with childhood obesity becoming a cause of worry globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) released new guidelines on October 4, emphasizing the growing importance of healthcare experts and professionals, underlining their positive role in helping kids and teenagers fight the global menace.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is defined as ‘excess adipose tissue’. In other words, it is a body-weight disorder involving excessive body fat that exposes an individual to multiple health problems. In case a person’s body-weight is nearly 20 per cent higher than it should be, he is considered obese.
There are different ways to calculate excess adipose tissue, the most common one being the Body Mass Index.
Overweight – BMI greater than or equal to 25
Obesity – BMI greater than or equal to 30
According to data obtained by WHO, one half of all overweight children or obese children lived in Asia, and one-quarter of the total obese children lived in Africa.
According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in June, India ranks second in the number of obese children in the world with China taking the first spot.
The global menace continues to rise rapidly in low and middle-income countries.
Also Read: Obesity leads to 13 types of Cancer, including that of Pancreas and Esophagus: Study
The new report released by WHO on October 4 is titled ‘Assessing and Managing Children at Primary Healthcare Facilities to Prevent Overweight and Obesity in the Context of the Double Burden of Malnutrition’.
The report provides guidelines and updates for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI). The guidelines attempt to confine the spread of childhood obesity from expanding further, and prescribe undertaking proper assessment of dietary habits along with weight and height measurements. It also recommends dieting and proper counseling by healthcare experts.
Recommendations by WHO
WHO has recommended that primary healthcare facilities should be made available to all children below the age of 5 years and infants. These should include measurement of both weight and height of the children to determine their weight-for height and nutritional status as previously defined by WHO child growth standards.
For children and infants identified as overweight, healthcare experts should provide counseling to parents and caregivers on nutrition and physical activity, which includes creating awareness about healthy practices like exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months and continuing the practice until 2 years or more.
WHO also prescribes that an appropriate management plan should be devised to counter the menace in obese children. This can be developed by a trained health worker at primary healthcare facilities, or local hospitals.
Healthy Eating Tips to Fight Obesity
Here are a few healthy eating tips that will not only help you maintain a healthy weight but will also prove be be beneficial for your metabolism, physical strength and general well-being,
Refrain from unnecessary indulgences or random snacking and encourage healthy snacking choices like popcorns, yogurt, fruits, etc.
Reduce your sugar intake to less than 10 per cent of the total calories for an individual with normal weight.
Consume a gracious serving of seasonal vegetables and fruits everyday that are rich in soluble and insoluble fibres, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Make healthy food selections- include whole grain products, avoid excessive use of oil and salt and refrain from processed or packaged food.
A balanced diet must be complimented with regular exercise to counter unnecessary weight gain
– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala
New York, October 9, 2017 : Is your child not getting ample sleep due to early school hours? Beware, your kid is more likely to develop depression and anxiety, warns a new study. The study reveals that children, who start schooling before 8:30 a.m., get insufficient sleep or barely meet the minimum amount of sleep, that is 8-10 hours, needed for healthy functioning of the body.
“Even when a student is doing everything else right to get a good night’s sleep, early school start times put more pressure on the sleep process and increase mental health symptoms, while later school start times appear to be a strong protective factor for teenager,” said Jack Peltz, Professor at the University of Rochester in the US.
School timings not only affect the sleeping habits but also the daily functioning of the body. It aggravates major health problems like obesity, heart disease and others in adulthood. The study, published in the journal Sleep Health, suggested that maintaining a consistent bedtime, getting between eight and 10 hours of sleep, limiting caffeine, turning off the television, cell phone and video games before bed may boost sleep quality as well as mental health.
The researchers used an online tool to collect data from 197 students across the country between the ages of 14 and 17. The results showed that good sleep hygiene was directly associated with lower average daily depressive or anxiety symptoms across all students.
The risk of depression was even lower in the students who started school after 8:30 a.m. in comparison to those who started early. “One possible explanation for the difference may be that earlier starting students have more pressure on them to get high quality sleep,” Peltz stressed. (IANS)
London, September 15, 2017 : Heart disease and tobacco ranked with conflict and violence among the world’s leading cause of poor health and the biggest killers in 2016, while poor diets and mental disorders caused people the greatest poor health, a large international study has found.
The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that while life expectancy is increasing, so too are the years people live in poor health. The proportion of life spent being ill is higher in poor countries than in wealthy ones.
“Death is a powerful motivator, both for individuals and for countries, to address diseases that have been killing us at high rates. But we’ve been much less motivated to address issues leading to illnesses,” said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which led the study.
He said a “triad of troubles” — obesity, conflict and mental illness — is emerging as a “stubborn and persistent barrier to active and vigorous lifestyles.”
The IHME-led study, involving more than 2,500 researchers in about 130 countries, found that in 2016, poor diet was associated with nearly one in five deaths worldwide. Tobacco smoking killed 7.1 million people.
Diets low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish oils and high in salt were the most common risk factors, contributing to cases of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol.
The study found that deaths from firearms, conflict and terrorism have increased globally, and that noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide.
Heart disease was the leading cause of premature death in most regions and killed 9.48 million people globally in 2016.