Not only are we outweighing our South East Asian neighbours, but our children are also following suit among their peers as one in every 5 school-going Malaysian children is overweight or obese. In children, it is not as straight forward as you think, as children’s percentage of body fat varies according to their sex, age, as well as the stages of their puberty. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends the use of BMI from the age of 2 years old on wards.
Childhood obesity has been growing at an alarming rate and is the most common nutritional problem among children in developed as well as in developing countries. It is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, including cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine and psycho social morbidities. This unhealthy trend will progress to adulthood and is expected to lead to huge economic costs in health and social security systems. Among the many factors which contribute to the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity include environment and genetic factors.
Childhood obesity will result in obese adults later in life, according to researchers in UPM in 2004. Childhood obesity is a major issue in the world today. It is a leading indicator of early onset non-communicable diseases and mortality in adults. Teenage obesity in Malaysia today is at 38%. And the problem has alarmed the Malaysian Ministry of Health.
What can parents do?
Childhood obesity is a potential time-bomb that threatens our children’s future. To learn what steps YOU can take to address this issue CLICK HERE
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