If global estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) are sufficient, in 2019, about 38.2 million children under 5 years of age were overweight or obese. In addition, nearly half of overweight or obese children under age 5 in 2019 lived in Asia. That number is only increasing given the lack of outdoor activities that children have had a chance to engage in since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. But now a new study has found that tackling the risk and incidence of childhood obesity can happen with positive parenting, warm interactions, and giving the child a good, healthy environment.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, is called “Family Psychological Assets, Child Behavioral Regulation, and Obesity.” After analyzing data from more than 1,000 mother-child pairs, the researchers found that a child’s early exposure to a good home environment, the mother’s emotional warmth, and the child’s ability to self-regulate indulgences all played a role in reducing risk. to develop childhood. obesity.
While family psychological assets affect children’s behavior, academic success, and career, researchers felt that these factors may also protect children against childhood obesity, noted Brandi Rollins, research assistant professor of biobehavioral health.
What is the link between positive parenting and childhood obesity risk?
According to research, if parents indulge in responsive parenting, responding to children in a timely, sensitive and age-appropriate manner, it can have a positive impact on the child.
“Some risk factors, like family poverty, can be very difficult to change. Assets, on the other hand, are perhaps easier to build. People can learn to be responsive parents. It’s encouraging that parents really matter, that family matters,” Rollins said.
Childhood obesity needs to be taken seriously as it not only affects children physically but also affects their mental health. It can trigger a feeling of low self-esteem, social anxiety, and even mood disorders.
It must be understood that either a child has inherited obesity or it has happened as a result of an unhealthy environment where there is no or lack of control over what they consume.
Parents should facilitate good eating and lifestyle habits that children can absorb.
Also read: Childhood obesity needs attention. Follow these tips to keep your children’s weight under control.
How to prevent childhood obesity?
* Encourage them to eat healthier by consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Make a meal plan that suits your needs.
* Be innovative and replace milkshakes or ice cream with fruit and vegetable smoothies.
* Control portion sizes.
* Keep a check on food labels.
* Keep sugar-laden drinks and fast food items out of your reach.
* Inculcate a proper exercise regimen.
(With ANI entries)