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When was the last time you checked the BMI of your 5 Year old?

February 1, 2011

Prevention of disease starts in childhood is the burden of this study.

Parent who smoke need to give it up because second-hand smoke increases the risk of high blood pressure in preschoolers. Teenagers who want more sugar laced foods should be discouraged because this lays the foundation for risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. Truisms you might say and everyone knows. Unfortunately what everyone knows often gets pushed under because everyone knows that adults can be very selfish when it comes to their own pleasures. Most times parents are telling children ‘do as I say because I know better’. Very few parents have the courage and the foresight to say ‘what I did was not good enough. Let us find a better way for you’.

Parental response to childhood illness is symptomatic and emergency lead. There is no time to watch for overall wellness with a focus on the future. Providing economic and social well-being are primary concerns. Love is expressed in providing relief. Now it seems we have to consciously take time out for the child’s physiological well-being. Should ‘health parenting’ be the new trend in child care? Why not? When was the last time we tracked the body mass index of our growing 5-year-old? At every stage in life there is an optimum weight that the human body needs to carry. Less will work better than more. Childhood obesity is on the rise across the world. Although BMI (Body Mass Index) calculation some experts now believe is not the best indicator of obesity impact, it remains a good yardstick at all ages.

Apart from parenting styles and attitudes is there a sociocultural element to this problem?  In developing countries, while there are no definitive surveys and measures available, it would be interesting to correlate rise in affluence (purchasing power) with the increase in sugar and fat consumption. And generally the increase in calories consumed. From lean and mean to fat and sick is how we seem to be going. And while we blame westernised junk for many of our health woes, it has also been established that our own traditional eating styles can be just as dangerous.


From → General Health

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