ADAKAH KITA BOLEH HAMIL KETIKA...
Did you know that children can also experience obesity? This means that they may weigh more than what is considered healthy for their height. Childhood obesity can affect both boys and girls. Experts compare the BMI levels of children of the same age to determine if they are overweight or obese. You can use this BMI Percentile Calculator to check if your child is within the healthy weight range, overweight or obese.
In recent years, more and more children are struggling with their weight these days. According to statistics from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS), the prevalence of childhood obesity in Malaysia has increased from 6.1% to 11.9% between 2011 and 2015. In addition, it has reached a record peak of 14.8% in 2019. It is important to address this issue to prevent health problems in the future.
Obesity in children can lead to a variety of health problems in the future including liver damage due to fat build up in the liver, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, it can cause obstructive sleep apnea, which is characterized by symptoms of loud snoring, interrupted breathing and disrupted sleep patterns. This condition can lead to negative health effects such as depression, anxiety, and cognitive problems including memory loss and lack of concentration.
There are several factors that contribute to childhood obesity:
Genetics - children who have a strong family history of obesity are more likely to become obese.
Eating large portions - the body takes in more calories than it needs.
Poor eating habits - frequently consuming energy dense and unhealthy food such as processed food, fast food, sugary drinks and snacks; eating late at night that disrupts metabolism.
Lack of physical activities - engaging in sedentary activities such as prolonged hours of electronic device use and lack of physical activity.
But do not worry, it is not all doom and gloom and there is hope. There are plenty of ways to make sure our little ones are keeping a healthy weight. Let's get to it!
1. Portion control
Controlling portion sizes is an effective way to manage weight and avoid overeating. When we consume more calories than our body needs, it can lead to weight gain and excess body fat. Luckily, there are simple ways to control portion sizes such as using smaller plates and being mindful of how much your child eats when dining out. It's also important to choose nutrient-dense foods that are packed with important vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy. By practicing portion control and eating a healthy, balanced diet, we can help to manage weight effectively and improve overall health.
Image adopted from: Panduan Pinggan Sihat Malaysia, MOH
By following the Malaysian Healthy Plate model, you can create balanced, complete meals as well as avoid overfeeding your child.
2. Consume nutrient-dense food
Nutrient dense foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, fiber and healthy fats that your child needs to feel satisfied and full, and prevent overeating. Eating a diet rich in nutrient dense foods provides the body important nutrients while being relatively low in calories to support healthy metabolism and function more efficiently.
Here is a low calorie snack recipe that is packed with nutrients, curated specially for you! These no-bake energy balls are so simple and easy to make that you could simply try out at home:
3. Limit added sugars and refined carbohydrates
Eating foods that are high in added sugars can lead to weight gain and increased fat storage, without providing any additional nutrients for your body. Similarly, refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries are often high in calories but low in nutrients. These types of food cause rapid increase in blood sugar levels, which can trigger hunger and cravings.
To avoid these negative effects, it is best to focus on providing your child with complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and vegetables as they are digested more slowly and promote feelings of satiety (fullness). Not only does excessive sugar intake lead to weight gain, but it can also have a significant impact on your childs’ dental health. It can cause tooth decay, cavities which further damage your gums.
4. Practice regular meal timing
Eating balanced meals at consistent times throughout the day can be helpful for weight loss by regulating your child's appetite and reducing the likelihood of overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods. In addition, regular meal timing can support a healthy circadian rhythm, which helps regulate various physiological processes in the body, including hormone production, digestion, and metabolism. This can have positive effects on metabolic health and weight management.
5. EXERCISE (Keep your child active & away from screen!)
Being physically active is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle for all children. However, the recommended amount of physical activity for children varies depending on their age. For example, school-age children should aim to engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity every day. This can include aerobic activities such as running, walking, and jumping, as well as bone-strengthening exercises that are appropriate for their age.
Note from DOC2US
Childhood obesity can cause serious health problems that may last into adulthood. But don't worry! With the right information, tools, and encouragement, you can help your child stay healthy and happy. We hope these tips and recipes will help you and your child make healthier choices and develop a positive relationship with food.
If you would like to seek support from a dietitian/nutritionist online, simply download the DOC2US mobile application today! Once you enter the Home Page, click View More > Health & Wellness > Dietitian In Training. Then, you will be able to chat with our apprentice dietitians from International Medical University(IMU), supervised by experienced clinical dietitians - for FREE! This service will only be available until 5th of May.
This article is written by Zoe Ong (DOC2US) & Cara Yew (DOC2US),
reviewed by Ashwini Nair, MB BCh BAO (DOC2US)
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