In the past, a child’s cuteness quotient was associated with how round or chubby he was. But in recent times, this cuteness quotient has been associated with a serious modern epidemic called Childhood Obesity (Sthaulya). This can be due to nutritional, genetic or lifestyle disorders. In Ayurveda it is classified as Ahara (Diet), Vichara (Mental Status), Vihara (Routine) and Bijadosha (Hereditary). This disorder can spill into adulthood and cause other complications like diabetes, heart diseases and other cardiovascular disorders. According to WHO, childhood obesity has increased by about 60% in the last 20 years.
Some children are genetically predisposed to being overweight. Studies have shown that an active lifestyle can shed about 40% of the fat, attributable to one’s genetic predispositions. The globalizing effect of the Internet and technology has made the world smaller, at the cost of our children leading more sedentary lifestyles. Sedentary lifestyle along with unhealthy food is a dangerous combination for childhood obesity. Psychological factors can also play a big role in the child’s wellbeing and health. Therefore a healthy lifestyle coupled with nutritious diet can help shed that extra bulge.
A healthy kids’ countdown ‘5210’ was started in Maine (USA) to raise healthy children. Keeping in mind the unhealthy & demanding lifestyles of modern day children, we have modified the steps a wee bit and call it the Jammi’s ‘5+2 0(1) 0’ plan.
5+: Take 5 helpings of fruits and vegetables a day. Need not limit it to 5.
2: Indulge in at least 2 hours of physical activity. Physical activity need not be about running a marathon. Make sure your kids start simply by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and have them do at least 30-minutes of moderate yet structured physical activity.
0(1): We recommend not watching Television. We believe this to be the primary cause for a sedentary lifestyle. But if you must, then reduce screen time to one hour a day, but only after they reach a certain age (7 years).
0: No aerated and sweetened drinks. This increases the toxins in your body.
According to Ayurveda the optimum time to prevent Obesity is between 5- 10 years. Yoga is also believed to be very beneficial in controlling obesity. Proteins should be taken more often as proteins help to reduce hunger. Ensure that you eat a lot of fruits, greens, vegetables and whole grains.
Shedding those extra pounds is not about achieving any unrealistic standards of beauty, but about adopting a healthy lifestyle and raising happy, healthy and self- confident children.