Vandana Nutrition and Diabetic Education Clinic

Vandana Nutrition and Diabetic Education Clinic
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Saturday, August 29, 2020

Childhood Obesity, Causes and Prevention in 2020


Childhood Obesity:Beware!Cause and Prevention 2020:

Childhood Obesity, Causes and Prevention in 2020
Childhood Obesity

At present time, Childhood obesity (Children who are obese are above the normal weight for their age and height.) is a major serious medical problem, because of unhealthy lifestyle other than genetic.

                                                        CDC & IAP Graph of obesity in Children

IAP Graph is based on Indian Association of Pediatrics while CDC graph is based on American Children where obesity rate in children is high.

When we put BMI of obese Indian children on CDC chart , it is on higher side. That means in India Obesity rate is increasing .

Obesity in Children is a condition in which excess fat present (mostly in upper part of the body) negatively affects the health of the child. It can cause Metabolic Disorder (Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol),Hormonal Disorder and other health problem.Sometime it can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression also.

Methods for directly measuring body fat are difficult, the diagnosis of obesity is often based on BMI and WHR (waist to hip ratio) .But now a days new measuring machine is available into the market which is best to calculate body composition i.e visceral fat,bone density,muscles mass,body age as well as BMI also.  

One of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the eating habit and increase physical activity not only of children bot also  it should be adopted  by entire family. Treating and preventing childhood obesity helps protect your child's health now and in the future.

Method to Major the Severity of Obesity:

BMI (Body Mass Index): is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. It is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening.The normal range of BMI in children depends on age and sex.      
IAP-  BMI Chart for Boys
IAP - BMI chart of Boys

IAP-  BMI Chart for Girls
IAP - BMI chart of Girls

CDC BMI chart for Boys

CDC BMI chart for Girls


              Weight Status Category                                           Percentile Range 


            Normal or Healthy Weight                                         5th percentile to less than the 85th percentile

            Overweight                                                                85th to less than the 95th percentile

            Obese                                                                         95th percentile or greater


  • WHR(Waist to Hip Ratio) : is a quick measure of fat distribution that may help indicate a person’s overall health. People who carry more weight around their middle (Apple shape) than their hips may be at a higher risk of developing certain health conditions.
Waist to Hip Ratio
Waist to Hip Ratio

WHR and WHtR exhibited an age-dependent decrease for both genders. The cut-off of WHR > 0.90 corresponded at the 97th WHR percentile for adolescent boys whereas the cut-off of > 0.85 corresponded at the 93rd-99th percentiles in girls according to age.


  1. Insulin Resistant / Hyperinsulinemia Insulin resistance (IR) is a pathological condition ,which is strongly associated with obesity ,dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease .In obese children and adolescents of any age there is an evident association between IR and an increased prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes  and other elements contributing to the metabolic syndrome, leading to a higher cardiovascular risk. Therefore, early diagnosis and interventions is the best way  to prevent Type  2 Diabetes .
  2. IFG (Impaired Fasting Glucose) & IGT (Impaired Glucose Tolerance): IFG is defined by an elevated fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentration & Impaired glucose tolerance is defined as raised two-hour glucose levels ,but not high enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis

    Treating impaired glucose tolerance may help to prevent diabetes development and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  3. Acanthosis-Nigricans: Children who have these hyper-pigmentation of the skin are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.They're most common in skin folds, such as the armpits, neck or groin.



  4. Gynecomastia: Being very overweight (obese) is a common cause of gynecomastia – this is because being overweight can increase levels of estrogen ( boys going through puberty due to hormonal changes), which can cause breast tissue to grow. If you're overweight you're also more likely to have excess fat that can enlarge the breast tissue. obesity causes and prevention in Indian children .html

What should you Do When your Child is Obese

Helping Overweight Children

For young children weight loss diet (fad diet like keto diet ,low carbohydrate diet etc.) is not a good approach,because heir bodies are in growing and developing stage. 

A restrictive diet (weight loss diet) may not fulfill the energy and nutrients requirement of children,needed for normal growth and development.

Best approach for obese young and growing children is to maintain the current weight ,while the child grows normally in height.OR to check his/her waist and hip size in cm or inches and motivate them to follow a healthy eating pattern and doing regular physical activity and reduced sedentary activity (such as watching television and videotapes, and playing computer games).

Lifestyle Modification in Childhood Obesity


Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Parents and caretaker  can help  to prevent childhood obesity by providing healthy meals and snacks, daily physical activity, and nutrition education. Healthy meals and snacks provide nutrition for growing bodies while modeling healthy eating behavior and attitudes.

Nutrition education helps young children develop an awareness of good nutrition and healthy eating habits for a lifetime.

  • Children can be encouraged to adopt healthy eating behaviors and be physically active when parents:
  • Focus on good health, not a certain weight goal. Teach and model healthy and positive attitudes toward food and physical activity without emphasizing body weight.
  • Focus on the family. Do not set overweight children apart. Involve the whole family and work to gradually change the family's physical activity and eating habits.
  • Establish daily meal and snack times, and eating together as frequently as possible. Make a wide variety of healthful foods. Determine what food is offered and when, and let the child decide whether and how much to eat.
  • Plan sensible portions. Use the Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children as a guide.
    • Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness and may lead to overeating.
    • Buy fewer high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. Help children understand that sweets and high-fat treats (such as candy, cookies, or cake) are not everyday foods. Don't deprive children of occasional treats, however. This can make them more likely to overeat.
    • Avoid labeling foods as "good" or "bad." All foods in moderation can be part of a healthy diet.
    • Involve children in planning, shopping, and preparing meals. Use these activities to understand children's food preferences, teach children about nutrition, and encourage them to try a wide variety of foods.
    • Make the most of snacks. Continuous snacking may lead to overeating. Plan healthy snacks at specific times. Include two food groups, for example, apple wedges and whole grain crackers. Focus on maximum nutrition - fruits, vegetables, grains, low-sugar cereals, low fat dairy products, and lean meats and meat alternatives. Avoid excessive amounts of fruit juices, which contains calories, but fewer nutrients than the fruits they come from. A reasonable amount of juice is 4-8 ounces per day.
    • Encourage physical activity. Participate in family physical activity time on a regular basis, such as walks and active games. Support your children's organized physical activities. Provide a safe, accessible place outside for play.
    • Limit the amount of time children watch television, play video games, and work on the computer to 1 to 2 hours per day. The average American child spends about 24 hours each week watching television. Reducing sedentary activities helps increase physical activity.