A survey by Max Healthcare, conducted in Delhi NCR, revealed an appalling result. It concluded that at least 40% of children, teens and adolescents in the region are overweight or obese.
The survey also delves into the insights from about 1,000 parents of overweight and obese children and adolescents, which revealed that 84% girls and 82% boys are physically and emotionally affected by their body weight issues.
Interestingly, out of a range of factors leading to obesity overeating (72%) followed by genetic reasons (40%) and unmonitored food habits (33.5%) are the leading factors of weight gain.
Emotional eating and binge eating are becoming very common among young children.
According to Dr Pradeep Chowbey, Chairman, Department of Minimal Access, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Max Healthcare “Youngsters are sleeping late and often resort to midnight binging. They do not burn any calories after eating late at night as they go to sleep and at the same time during the day, they are lethargic thus burning very less calories in the day. Moreover, the increasing screen usage time among children these days causes a lot of emotional and hormonal changes. Stress hormones and steroids production is increased in the body which in turn increases the appetite thus contributing to weight gain.”
Additionally, the kids aren’t burning it out, thereby exacerbating the problem. The survey reveals that only 30% of Delhi NCR’s children are physically active.
The study found sedentary lifestyle to be a major culprit, among others. Experts from Mumbai also believe similarly.
“Obesity is a reflection of a faulty lifestyle. Today, obesity is an issue because of excessive junk food consumption, unhealthy and irregular eating habits, gadget addiction, lack of exercises and physical inactivity. We need to teach our children to be healthier and avoid a sedentary lifestyle,” said Dr Ajay Bhandarwar, a Professor and Head of Surgery Department in JJ Group of Hospitals.
The findings of the study state:
- Over 75 per cent young children gain weight due to over eating
- More girls gain weight due to overeating (75%) and unmonitored eating habits (40.8%) in comparison to boys (69.1% and 26% respectively)
- Eating out two-three times a week is common in all age groups, and more common among boys.
- Children (42.2%) are most influenced by branded food options
- Nutrition value is the last consideration for food choice (11.9%)
- Over 46.4% children, teens and adolescents are impacted by peer pressure for their food choices
- Mid-night snacking and media addiction go hand in hand
- Technology dependence triggers irregular eating patterns more among girls than boys
- Over 41% parents actively believe that their child lacks physical stamina while another 37% suspect their children might be suffering from a lack of stamina
Are our children are eating habits influenced by stress?
- Exam preparation (66.2%) triggers irregular eating habits the most across age groups
- Children (72.6%) eat more during exam preparation in comparison to teenagers (60.8%)
- Fight with a friend impacts a child’s (27.4%) eating habits more as compared to teenagers (18.5%)
- Binge eating at night is the highest among teenagers (45.4%) – boys (32.4%) v/s girls (36%)
- Poor performance in exams impact eating habits of teenagers (41.1%) the most; boys (42.3%) vs girls (35.6%)
- Sedentary lifestyles are encouraged by technology dependence (58.8%), followed by lack of sporting infrastructure (45.5%) and overload of studies (41.2%)
- Technology influences girls (64.5%) more than boys (52.7%) when it comes to lack of exercise
Sleep issues among children?
- Sleeping disorders, depression, stress and anxiety impact 29% of the obese respondents
- 52% obese girls suffer from sleeping disorders as compared to 18% boys
- Over 40% parents state that their child suffers from hormonal imbalance and conditions of PCOD/PCOS
- Over 68% children suffer from eating disorders, with over 21% having high sugar levels
- Over 29% parents state that their child shows symptoms of depression, anxiety and sleeping disorders