- As per the recent reports of the food and nutrition institute in Warsaw are concerned, the frequency of overweight (including obese) children in European developing countries after 2000 surpassed 20%,whereas in the US, reached 35%.
- Improper health behavior generally prevades in the whole family and obesity can be notices in both children and parents. Children in the age limit of 2-14 spend an average of 2.4 h sticking around a TV screen or a computer monitor.
- Children now are not much interested in outdoor activities.
- The scenario is totally changed as the children spend a lot of time in front of their computers, playing games and browsing the internet but this does not involve physical effort , hence there is no catabolism and spending of energy . As a result , more and more often there is a problem of overweight in obese children and adolescents which continues into adulthood.
- Obesity can cause several cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disorders, diabetes, Kidney problems and Cancer, joint deformities, bone deformities and skin lesions and can affect self esteem and can cause psychological disorders also.
Prevalence of obesity:
- If the no. of deaths are taken into account in the world obesity is the sixth most important risk factor.
the research carried out in different regions of the world says that the number of obese people aged upto 18 became thrice in the 1990s.
Consequences of mass media and lack of physical activity on the approach of obesity.
- Our eating habits are decided mainly by the Commercials and mass media. One of the major criteria of obesity is the amount of time spent in front of television and the content watched. It contributes to physical inactivity and also commercials and other programmes encourage us to eat more.
- TV viewing is a contributing factor of childhood obesity. It takes hold of the time spent by the children on physical activities and also leads to a hike in energy intake through snacking and eating meals in front of TV.
- Those habits of sit time and advertisements based on soft drinks and unhealthy foods guide children to make inappropriate food choices. Also the ads of the beverages and foods shown on TV promote food lacking in vitamins, proteins and energy but contribute to calories. The TV ads are also shown n no. of times in a small duration and that is able to convince the children to purchase them.
- Children who watched cartoons with food commercials consume 45% more snack food as compared to those watching cartoons without food ads.
- Children who watched more than 5 hours of TV per day were 4.6 times more prone to be obese than the children who watched 0-1 h per day.
- According to the studies, children watching TV were from families in which parents did the same and overweight parents have more chance of getting overweight children in future.
- Children those have TV in their bedrooms are more likely to go obese than those which do not.
Don’t “Sit” but “go fit”.
- No screen time is justified by The American Academy of Pediatrics for children below the age of 2.
- Children’s bedrooms should be made TV free and Internet free by removing TV sets or connections.
- Health care providers can counsel the parents to reduce childen’s sit time and engage them in some or the other activities that are really interesting.
Dr. Ritu Sharma Chomal
Department of Science
Biyani Girls College