During winter it’s natural for children to gain some extra weight due to less activity, staying indoors, eating junk food, and having fewer active hours. Obesity, apart from giving rise to medical conditions like diabetes, and hypertension in kids also leads to low confidence, body dysmorphia, and clinical depression. A number of factors contribute to excessive weight gain including genetics, lifestyle, behavior, community factors, and certain medications.
Dr Sukrit Kumar, Director Medical Loop and Dr. Omesh Khurana (Paediatrics) Member of CLIRNET Community share ways to prevent obesity in kids in winters:
- Staying physically active is the best way to fight those extra kilos. It regulates mental well-being, promotes a sound sleep, builds immunity, and reduces stress. Do not let the child watch too much tv or laptop. Do take nature walks when the sun is up and shining
- Eating balanced home-cooked warm meals, and avoiding frozen, junk food, cookies, crackers, and sugary drinks is important. Warm soups and green veggies must be included in all meals.
- During the winter season, one should increase the consumption of soups with spinach. Fruits like guava and vegetable like carrots with high fibre should be consumed.
- Set a good example for your children as they exactly do what their parents do, so set a good example. Do what you preach to your children, have healthy snacks, exercise together, choose non-food rewards, and innovate healthy recipes so that children start liking them.
- Focus on children’s mental well-being and try provide a stress-free environment to them. Follow sleep hygiene, and engage children in healthy hobbies as boredom and stress leads to overeating. Also to avoid seasonal affective disorder, get adequate warmth and light.
- Plan ahead children’s outings according to the weather, wash hands, take vaccines, wear layers of clothes to protect the body and prevent weight gain.
- Avoid medications – certain medications like painkillers, steroids, beta-blockers, etc also lead to weight gain so must be avoided during winter.
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- A regular visit to the paediatrician and once-a-year BMI check is also very important.