Obesity has become a global phenomenon across the world. It takes place when excessive fat is accumulated in the body over a period of time. Obesity is different from being overweight which implies that a person’s weight is in the upper range among people of the same age and height. A person may be overweight due to a large number of reasons like having more muscles, bone or water in the body which varies due to different body structures.
The present generation of students are more of couch potatoes who refrain from physical activities and sports. Circumstances as well as lifestyle choices are responsible for it. In most urban areas, the children are confined to their homes right from early childhood. Lack of playing space , social security, and severe crisis of parent’s time are responsible for the confinement of children in their homes. So much so , that the artificial confinement becomes a habit out of which students refuse to budge as they grow up.
Obesity occurs when children eat more than the body requires for normal growth and activity. The extra calories get stored as fat in the body. Over a period of time the accumulation of fat cells leads to obesity.
The present society has not only confined the children to their homes but also put them in an atmosphere that makes it easy for them to overeat, and difficult to remain active. Screen time activities on computers, gaming consoles, mobiles etc. require very little physical activity and the screen ads adds to unhealthy food choices. Junk food, readymade processed food, snacks are laden with unhealthy calories that fill the bodies with fat which harm children in multiple ways.
Obesity can lead to a large number of physical and mental problems for students. Increased risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease, high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, bone and joint problems, asthma, sleep apnea are some of the negative outcomes that may arise out of childhood obesity. Obesity among students also leads to low self esteem and depression.
Parents and teachers can play a big role in preventing obesity among students. First and foremost they must inculcate healthy eating habits in children right form birth. This is best done by acting as a role model for the children. Children should eat only when they are hungry and not merely to while away the time. Screen time for students should be reduced, and outdoor physical activities should be increased. Food must not be used as an award. Fridge and pantry should be stocked with healthy food. Junk food should not be provided in school cafeteria. All kind of junk food stalls should be removed from the vicinity of schools. Educating people regarding the adverse implications of obesity and creating awareness will help in combating the problem in the long run.
If we don’t somehow stem the tide of childhood obesity, we’re going to have a huge problem.Lance Armstrong