Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Causes and Solutions for Obesity among Malaysian Children (Edited)

Obesity is often termed as having an overly high body mass index (BMI). When a person’s weight is extremely more than its ideal weight, we call it obesity. As Malaysia is rich in a variety of food, it is common to see one in every ten children having the symptoms of obesity. There are many factors that result in obesity such as the role of the media, choices of food and parenting style. Fortunately, there are also several solutions to overcome these factors.

Firstly, children are active individuals. Television captures the children’s attention, instead of playing outdoors, they would rather watch cartoon television programmes. Due to lack exercise, the fat in the body builds up gradually to cause one to become obese. In that sense, parents need to limit the time spent on watching television. By limiting the time spent on television, children are more likely to be more active playing outside the home. Playing in the park enables them to move their limbs and fight the accumulation of fat.

Secondly, when it comes to the choice of food, “fast food” ranks top in children’s food choices. Fast food is high in sugar and carbohydrate. When children consume too much fast food, eventually the excess glucose will be converted into fat. As children are easily tempted by eating fast food, parents need to be stricter with the choices of food their children consume. A balanced diet is needed for children’s growth. Instead of fast food, more vegetables and proteins are recommended. As vegetables have antioxidants which boost the body’s immune system and protein increases brain power, a healthier choice of food will produce healthier children.

Thirdly, parenting style also plays a role in children’s health. Most parents are overworked and when they came home, the tired adults are too tired to prepare a meal. Thanks to technology, they just need to call for fast food delivery and it will be delivered in front their of door step. In addition, parents do not bother much about what their children consume. This gives freedom to the children to eat whatever they want which includes junk food, a contributor to obesity. To overcome this problem, busy parents should sacrifice some time preparing home cooked meals. If they are very busy, they could opt for catered food provided that they make healthy choices.

In conclusion, “you are what you eat”. The causes of obesity are numerous. Time spent watching television, poor choices of food and parenting style are some of the causes of obesity among children. To overcome the problem, one should ensure that they limit the time their children spent on watching television, make smarter choices of food, and improve their parenting style.

Written by: Lai Siew Tim

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