Getting kids to eat a good diet remains a challenge for most parents, if not all. Instead, junk foods are preferred. Consequences are unhealthy.
As per medical science, the growth and development of the human body depends largely on the kind of food intake. It is a common finding that most modern diseases are related to food habits and lifestyle.
In the contemporary world, childhood obesity is a serious, widespread problem that has implications for society. There are more empty calories and not enough physical activity to burn them off. As per some experts, there are various microbial species in stomach that help the body cells to battle against obesity, diabetes, provocative gut conditions, coronary illness, and so on. Junk foods are said to impact them badly.
Development of obesity is multi-factorial and eating of junk food and processed food is one of them, the government quoting experts informed the Parliament earlier this year. Childhood obesity is a risk factor of developing heart diseases and diabetes in later life, the government said also quoting a recent systematic review of studies on childhood obesity from India. The study, the government said, showed that the pooled data after 2010 estimated a combined prevalence of 19.3% of childhood overweight and obesity which was a significant increase from the earlier prevalence of 16.3% reported in 2001-2005.
As per Indian Council of Medical Research’s India State Level Disease Burden Initiative study paper published in “Lancet Global Health”, there has been an increase in the number of people suffering with diabetes from 26.0 million in 1990 to 65.0 million in 2016 in India with an increase in the crude prevalence by 39·4% in adults aged 20 years or older with an increase in every state from 1990 to 2016, contributing about 3·1% of the total deaths, according to the government.
The most important risk factor for diabetes was overweight, with about 36·0% of the diabetes disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) could be attributed to. For every 100 overweight adults aged 20 years or older, there were 38 adults with diabetes, compared with the global average of 19 adults in 2016. The other risk factors for diabetes are low physical activity and increase in unhealthy diet (dietary risk).
If timely measures are taken, it can save the young generation from future complications of health.
The onus of inculcating healthy eating habits starts at home. The parents should ensure steps to reduce the intake of unhealthy food along with increased physical activity, which is increasingly being neglected for various reasons and aggravated with closure of schools due to covid-19 pandemic.