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Tackling Lifestyle Disorders in Kids

Lifestyle disorders, also known as diseases of civilization, are closely linked to our way of life, daily habits, and the choices we make. When children frequently consume unhealthy junk food, spend excessive time watching TV, and are exposed to advertisements promoting unhealthy foods, it increases the risk of lifestyle-related diseases. With both parents often working, there's less time for home-cooked meals, leading to a heavy reliance on packaged and unhealthy foods that are high in calories, artificial additives, and preservatives. These dietary habits pose significant long-term health risks, depriving individuals of essential nutrients found in traditional, nutrient-rich foods. The regular consumption of junk food, combined with irregular eating patterns, contributes to various health issues such as acid reflux, obesity, and hypertension. The incidence of lifestyle disorders among children is on the rise globally and according to the World Health Organization,lifestyle disorders are considered as threat to human kind.


Childhood Obesity

Obesity is one of the prominent lifestyle disorders in children, alongside factors like insufficient physical activity and disrupted sleep patterns, which also contribute to weight gain. When there's an imbalance between calorie intake and expenditure, excess fat accumulates in their bodies. Childhood obesity is now widespread and has reached epidemic proportions.Sedentary habits, overconsumption of sugary beverages and fast food, and a lack of physical activity all play a role in this health crisis. Obesity doesn't just impact a child's physical health but also has consequences for their academic performance. Obese children often struggle with diminished focus, low self-esteem, and increased absenteeism due to health-related issues.

Preventive measures:

  • Encourage a balanced diet including vegetables, fruits and proteins.

  • Encourage regular physical activity through sports, outdoor play

  • Educate about healthy lifestyle choices through educational programs.

  • Conduct yearly BMI screenings.


Visual Disorder:

In today's digital age, children use computers for education as well as recreation. Prolonged screen time can lead to various visual problems like myopia , astigmatism and eye strain. Visual disorders not only affect the child’s visual acuity but also have a poor impact on his academic performance.

Preventive measures:

  • Encourage children to take regular breaks from screen time and participate in outdoor activities.

  • Promote maintaining good posture and ensuring appropriate lighting when using screens.

  • Advocate for regular eye exams to detect and address vision issues early on.

  • Implement advanced eye check-ups in schools to identify undetected eye problems in children, enabling parents to take timely corrective actions.

Dental Disorder:

Poor oral habits like not brushing regularly, eating too many sugary foods, and not taking proper care of teeth, can result in dental issues like cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. These problems can lead to pain, discomfort, and trouble eating, which can then lead to nutritional problems.

Preventive measures:

  • Encourage good oral hygiene practices like brushing teeth twice daily and regular flossing.

  • Advocate for a healthy diet with fewer sugary snacks and drinks.

  • Do regular dental check-ups at schools to detect and manage oral health issues promptly.

 

References:

1. The influence of preschool children’s diets on the risk of lifestyle diseases. A pilot study.

Małgorzata Kostecka

2. The short and long-term effects of a lifestyle intervention in children with mental

illnesses: a randomized controlled trial. Emilie M. A. van Tetering

3. Lifestyle disorders in children - An ayurvedic overview. Kalpana Patni

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