Diets and childhood obesity

The number of children, who are overweight or obese, grows every year. Parents and teachers can and must help to prevent a childhood obesity. Balanced diet is one of the most effective methods to prevent obesity in children.The earlier a childhood or a teenage obesity is cured, the easier metabolic processes are changed. Diets must not limit the consumption of nutrients that help a child’s body to develop and grow up.

A special place belongs to substances that are not synthesized in the body:

Vitamins and minerals
Essential amino acids
Polyunsaturated fatty acids

The main purpose of a childhood obesity treatment is to stop the disease progression.

  • In case of severe obesity, diets help to reduce the body weight. Weight loss must be gradual without sharp changes in a patient’s weight.
  • Diets are prescribed, considering the age, gender and level of physical activity of a patient.
  • The recommended daily energy value of food is calculated individually.
  • An average energy value is 1500-2200 kcal/day.
  • If obesity keeps progressing, the daily caloric intake has to be decreased by 10-15% (by 30% if needed).
  • Older children should eat at least 4 times a day. It is better to eat small portions of food 5-6 times daily.
  • To normalize the metabolism, children should not eat 1.5-2 hours before sleep.

If a child was born overweight, parents should give him foods consisting of fruit and vegetables, make fresh juices. In order to prevent the weight gain, parents should limit the amount of sugar in their child’s diet.

It is possible to prevent obesity in future parents just need to accustom their children to foods containing minimum of sugar. The diet of obese children over 12 months year old must contain small amount of carbohydrates, especially fast carbs.

Obese children of any age should minimize the amount of candies, sweet pastry and cookies in their diet. Children’s diet must contain a good quantity of meat, milk and sour milk products. In addition, children should eat foods high in fiber, vegetables, sugar-free fruit and berries.

Depending on the severity of a childhood obesity and comorbidities, a daily norm of meat is:

70-80 g of meat – 3 year old. child
90-100 g of meat – preschoolers.
130-150 g of meat – children of 7-12 year old.

Children’s body is developing. That is why they need different types of proteins. Every child should eat fish, chicken meat, eggs and fat-free meat. Parents should never cook for their children dishes with beef tallow, pork lard or any other harmful animal fat.

Parents and teachers should teach their children to eat food slowly. In this case, normal servings provide satiety much faster. If a child eats in a hurry, he might not feel full even if he eats large portions of food.

Children might be obese not just because of excessive accumulation of fat tissue, but also because of water retention. This might result in edema of feet, ankles, legs, arms and abdomen.

  • Water retention often occurs due to a high salt intake. Therefore, parents should put just a tiny amount of salt in foods they cook for their kids.

In order to increase the efficiency of a balanced diet and the weight loss rate, children should be physically active. To motivate a child, parents should set a good example for their kids by sticking to healthy diets and doing sports.

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