Gone are the days when chubby children were looked upon as privileged kids, something to be taken pride in by parents. Chubbiness is no sign of good health, but an alarm bell for obesity risk. With more and more children getting obese in the recent years, it is leading to various health problems. According to the Paediatric Obesity International Journal, at this rate, the country will have more than 17 million obese children by 2025. A WHO report also revealed some alarming facts, stating that the number of obese and overweight children under five has nearly doubled since 1990.

The authors of the report from the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity stressed that the epidemic has historically not been treated as a grave public health issue and was regarded by some as a product of lifestyle choices by individuals and families. But following two years of research in more than 100 countries, the authors underscored that governments and global health organisations were central to reversing the scourge.

Perhaps the kids are not the ones at fault. Biological factors, inadequate access to healthy foods, a decline in physical activity and the unregulated marketing of fattening foods are among the drivers of a worsening epidemic that requires a coordinated global response, the report said.

There’s lack of awareness as well among parents. Most parents are proud of their children being “healthy” without realising that they could be at risk of physiological and psychological complications in later stages of life. No strict measures are taken to check what and how much do children eat, how much they sleep and whether or not they exercise and follow other healthy lifestyle habits.

Childhood obesity is known be one of the factors leading to high BP, cholesterol, heart ailments, diabetes, respiratory illness, infertility. Most medical complications are masked till adulthood, and they surface only later, posing serious threat to health. Doctors have warned that obesity is irreversible when ignored, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly and the change must start at home. Parents need to ensure that their kids are made aware of the importance of a balanced diet and adopting healthy lifestyle choices, as well as set an example for kids to follow them.

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