Childhood Obesity – A Modern Epidemic

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.

598752_514466228566324_1137258383_n

Advertisements

Eating Along with the Cycles of Nature!!

The most simple, basic and never-followed the wisdom of nature is exercising

the choice of food and lifestyle based on the changing rhythms of the seasons. The

juncture of every season brings along with it certain diseases and imbalances

during its transition from one season to another. Ayurveda recommends, making

right food choices based on the dominant dosha during that cycle. These doshas

are responsible for the physical and emotional attributes in the human body. The

combinations of these doshas within an individual determine the characteristics

of that individual. Any imbalances in these doshas cause diseases. Just as every

person is dominated by a dosha, every season is also dominated by a dosha.

Therefore, it is very important to tune ourselves to the rhythms of nature by

following season specific diet and activities in order to avoid imbalances. This

goes a very long way in maintaining your body’s balance and harmony with

nature.

 

Different doshas are dominant in different seasons. Vata is characteristic

of fall and early winter (Mid July- Mid November). Falling temperatures

demand the need for nourishing Ojas (Sanskrit word meaning vigor or strength)

developing food. Therefore, it’s that time of the year when you need to keep

yourself warm and binge on warm, well-cooked, organic, fresh foods. Some of

the nourishing foods include lemons, ghee, sweet potatoes, apples (if you live in

regions that produce apples locally) and almonds. Sip on plenty of warm water

every half hour to eliminate impurities from the tissues.

Image

 

Kapha characterizes late winters and early spring (Mid Nov- Mid March).

Keep yourself warm by favoring detoxifying food with hot spices during this

season. Spices like cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and cardamom help tackle the

runny noses and sore throats that develop due to the cold temperatures. Go easy

on heavy, fried, sweet and salty food. Do take some time to indulge in some sort

of physical activity in order to keep yourself active.

 

Pitta signifies the onset of summers. The bright sunny weather makes you feel

more energetic. However the soaring temperature also kills your appetite. Beat

the summer heat by consuming juicy, organic and cooling Pitta pacifying food.

Include fresh seasonal fruits, rice pulses and milk products in your diet. Water is

the best for cooling Pitta. Hence, do not forget to keep yourself well hydrated.

The chart below gives a rough guideline diet for different seasons. Please

consult a good Ayurvedic practitioner before making any major changes to your

diet.