Prepared for Success


In a very short time, schools will resume. Parents are trying to equip their children with everything they need to start off a new session with hopes of achieving academic success. Achieving this success goes beyond getting the best schools or teachers. Self-esteem of the child is also a factor in achieving success in one’s studies. A growing trend amongst children that make them prone to depression, negative body image and low self-esteem is childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that exposes children to health problems that were once seen amongst older people. In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled. This may not be unrelated to increased imbalance of calorie in the body – whereby much calorie is consumed in foods and drinks but less is expended through activity.
Factors such as genetics, behaviour and environment can contribute to childhood obesity. Some diseases (such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome) and hormonal disorders may be risk factors. Research has also shown that changes in digestive hormones can affect the signals that let people know when they are full. This has resulted in the consumption of more fatty, less healthy and highly processed foods and sugary drinks. More children have given up active games for games that keep them on a spot – reducing physical activities.
Complications of childhood obesity include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, early onset of puberty, sleep disorders (obstructive sleep apnea) and metabolic syndrome. It finally results in poor academic performance by the child.
Our children are the future we have with us. In as much as we will want them to enjoy their childhood, it is best to consider their tomorrow. Take action -

  • Encourage them to have balanced meals, serve portions appropriate for their ages.
  • Stock the fridge and their bags with fruits and vegetables rather than sweets and junks (they may have this once in a while).
  • Allow them to have enough rest by sleeping well.
  • Give them water instead of processed drinks.
  • Let them have time for physical play, reduce their screen time.

    By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi

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