Our thought processes and our minds may influence our eating habits. Many people eat in response to emotions such as boredom, sadness, or anger. While most overweight people have no more psychological disturbances than people of normal weight, about 30 percent of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems binge. During a binge-eating episode, people eat large amounts of food while feeling they can't control how much they are eating.
Those with severe bingeing problems are considered to have a bingeeating disorder. These people may have more difficulty losing weight and keeping the weight off than people without a binge-eating disorder. Some will need expert help, such as counselling or medication, to control their bingeing before they can successfully manage their weight.
Medical factors: Some illnesses can also cause obesity. These include hypothyroidism, Cushing'ssyndrome (excess production of cortisol by the adrenal glands), the PraderWilli syndrome and certain neurological problems that can lead to overeating. A doctor can determine if a patient has any of these pre-existing conditions, which are believed to be responsible for about one per cent of all obesity cases. Medications: Certain drugs, such as steroids and some antidepressants, may also cause excessive weight gain. Obesity was once treated as a purely behavioural problem.
The theory went that people became overweight because they lacked self-control. They just had a fascination for food and thereby ate more than what their bodies needed. This elementary theory of obesity is now being challenged as overly simplistic. Solid evidence indicates that obesity is a complex chronic disease and involves many diverse factors. Environmental, psychological, genetic and metabolic factors all appear to playa role in the genesis of obesity.
Traditional remedies for obesity usually do not work. Their unfortunate failure is amply witnessed by the fact that the number of obese children and adults in most countries, including India, is continuing to increase. Even more alarming, the degree of obesity the difference between a person's current weight and his / her "ideal" body weight is continuing to increase.
Obesity in children: This is clearly visible in the urban areas. The culprit is a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. Obese children are seen to suffer from a number of ailments like hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, gall-stones, osteoarthritis and diabetes. In many cases, fat children have grown up to be obese adults.
So, to nip the problem in the bud, here are a few tips to keep your child healthy: Don't make your child eat when he or she isn't hungry. Don't use food to comfort or as a reward. Don't offer dessert as a reward for finishing a meal.
Doing this teaches your child to value sweets more than other foods. Offer your child a healthy diet. Not more than 30 per cent of all the calories your child eats should be from fat.
Your child needs to get lots of fibre from fruits, vegetables and grains. Don't eat at fast-food restaurants more than thrice a month. Limit how much TV your child watches. Try to get your child to do some activity instead, like cycling or playing ball.
Spend time with your child - go on family walks and play outdoor games together whenever you can. Teach your child good eating and exercise habits.
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