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WATCH OUT FOR CHUBBY CHEEKS

1 Children need to be fat and cuddly.

Cuddly kids do appear endearing. However, the next time you see a child who is still chubby but no longer a toddler, be wary of a dangerous reality behind the weight. There is a growing instance of childhood flab staying on and eventually leading to lifestyle diseases.

2 This is baby fat, not real fat.

There is no good and bad fat. Fat is fat. To assume that some of it is not the real thing could be the real problem. Many parents wake up to the problem only after their kids have turned teenagers and, by then, lost their confidence due to excess weight.

3 Baby fat will go away once children grow up.

Often the chubbiness of a kid gives way to adolescent leanness. However, an increasing number of children are growing up looking older than their years because the fat refuses to disappear. To pretend that the fat will simply vanish once the child grows up is one way to trivialise a serious ailment.

4 Eat more or else how will you grow stronger?

This notion that the more you eat the stronger you become can be harmful for your child. One needs to eat a measured amount at periodic intervals for better metabolism and strength.

5 Ekhoni toh khabar boyesh! (This is the age to eat!)

Parents believe that overeating can be excused in the growing years because nutrition is needed to build muscle, bones and skin. What they overlook is that eating right builds the body, not overeating. Besides, eating the wrong foods can have an adverse effect.

6 The other child looks so round and healthy and our girl so undernourished.

In India, we tend to associate ‘fat’ with ‘healthy’ and ‘thin’ with ‘undernourished’. The opposite is true. People often think that children who are overweight come from happy families. The sad sequel is that in a few years this affection translates into a dire need for medical intervention.

7 Studies will take you places, play will leave you poor.

How often have you heard parents telling their children, ‘Padhogey-likhogey toh hogey nawab, khelogey-koodogey toh banogey kharaab’! Beware — a sedentary lifestyle is a threat to a child’s health. Don’t let your child sit in front of the TV instead of playing outdoor games.

8 The more tuition classes they attend, the better.

Nine out of 10 urban parents I come across have created tight schedules for their kids. On a Sunday, a child attends dance class, computer class, school tuition and then gets marched home for “time with the family”. The result? Hardly any play-time. With such schedules we are creating a generation in danger of pulling a muscle even for a 50m sprint.

FAT-SHEET!

60 per cent children eat junk food thrice a week.

28 per cent urban children are prone to diabetes and heart disease.

10-12The age-group in which the maximum prevalence of obesity is observed.

11 The age when the hardening and blockage of arteries begins in boys.

30mm: The benchmark for skin-fold thickness beyond which a child is considered overweight.

120per cent: The benchmark of one’s standard weight which when exceeded the term obesity can be used.

50-70 per cent obese children grow up to be obese adults.

Nutrience Kids Fitness Studio, a child nutrition cum activity centre, opens at 2B Colonel Biswas Road (033-32910505/ 65001871) on December 10