Published URL : National Courier

Published Date: 19th July 2016


By Itrat Siddiqui The Nutritional transition is associated with a change in dietary habits , decreasing physical activity and rising prevalence of obesity. Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases. Obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the last 30 years. Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscles , bone , water ,or combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. Overweight and obesity are the result of “Caloric Imbalance “. Childhood obesity is increasingly being observed with the changing life style of families with increased purchasing power, increasing hour of in activity due to television, video games, and computers which are replacing outdoor games and other social activities. The most important consequence of childhood obesity is its persistence into adulthood . with all its health risks include cardiovascular disease , and some sex hormone sensitive cancers. Pakistan ranked 9th out of 188 countries in terms of obesity, according to the ( Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet journal. Pakistan needs to develop a national strategy to control obesity in its population by implementing the recommendations of the WHO global strategy on diet , physical activity and health. Healthy life style habits ,including healthy eating and physical activity , can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related disease. Schools play a particularly role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. Schools also provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behavior’s . Special emphasis may be laid on healthy diet and avoiding use of extra fats and sugars for energy . Children should be encouraged to utilize fresh vegetable , fruits , legumes , whole grains and high fiber diets . cutting the amount of fatty, sugary foods in the diet. – Engaging in daily moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes. Garden, go for family walks, play a pickup game of sports, swim, take the stairs, or walk to the grocery store or work Eat small portions. Use a smaller plate, weigh portions on a scale, or check the Nutrition Facts label for details about serving sizes Eating habits of children and teen agers should be monitored. State Should strictly regulate the marketing of foods and drinks for the children and ensure that for marketing companies are not playing with the health of our future generations . “ The battle to curb childhood obesity is critically tied to understanding its causes and focusing on the modifiable factors that can lead to positive health change for each and every child, Eagle said.” Fad diets are not the best way to lose weight and keep it off. These diets often promise quick weight loss if you strictly reduce what you eat or avoid some types of foods. Some of these diets may help you lose weight at first. But these diets are hard to follow. Most people quickly get tired of them and regain any lost weight. A serving of low-fat or fat-free food may be lower in calories than a serving of the full-fat product. But many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat versions of the same foods-or even more calories. These foods may contain added flour, salt, starch, or sugar to improve flavor and texture after fat is removed. These items add calories. Skipping meals may make you feel hungrier and lead you to eat more than you normally would at your next meal. In particular, studies show a link between skipping breakfast and obesity. People who skip breakfast tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast. Eating lean meat in small amounts can be part of a healthy plan to lose weight. Chicken, fish, and red meat contain some cholesterol and saturated fat. But they also contain healthy nutrients like iron, protein, and zinc. A number of factors such as your age, genes, medicines, and lifestyle habits may affect your weight. If you would like to lose weight, speak with your health care provider about factors that may affect your weight. A registered dietitian may also give you advice on a healthy eating plan and safe ways to lose weight and keep it off. – Writer of this article is a Clinical Nutritionist at Dr. Ziauddin Hospital