The 21st century is witnessing rising incidences of childhood obesity- one of the most serious public health challenges. A child falls into the obese category when the child is above the healthy weight limit for his/ her age and height. Obese kids are likely to remain obese even in adulthood, with an increased probability to develop non- communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Childhood obesity could be a result of several factors such as improper dietary habits, sedentary lifestyle, certain medications, and hormonal imbalances. Improper dietary habits such as excessive consumption of junk food and unhealthy snacks has resulted in intake of high calories, while the physical activity level of children has drastically decreased. The time spent on video games and sedentary activities is very high when compared to outdoor games, leading to a positive energy balance, i.e. high calories intake but less utilization of the energy.
The self-esteem of the obese children is affected, resulting in poor academic performances and reduced participation in extracurricular activities. It also affects the social life of children as obese kids tend to remain aloof owing to their inferiority complex. Parents have to play a pivotal role in monitoring the dietary habits and physical activity levels of children. Frequent weight check, controlled and healthy diet with sufficient physical activity is essential to prevent and control childhood obesity. The importance of staying fit and healthy has to be explained to children so that they start practicing healthy habits by themselves.