A recent study revealed that 1 in 4 children studying in private schools in Chennai is overweight. This follows a similarly alarming trend witnessed across the world, particularly in developing nations like India. Overweight children are more likely to develop problems like diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension at a very young age. What’s more, as they grow into adulthood they are likely to develop complications like myocardial infarction and stroke very early.
The increase in the number of overweight children is due to numerous genetic, environmental and lifestyle changes. This makes it challenging to address the problem, requiring a comprehensive, multi-specialty intervention.
Apollo Children’s Hospital has formed a skilled multi-disciplinary expert team including consultant pediatric endocrinologists, dialectologists, pediatric dieticians, pediatric physiotherapists and child psychologists to provide holistic, child-centred plans, specially designed for overweight children and their families.
After a detailed assessment, the individual child’s needs are identified and a comprehensive management plan is structured around it. The pediatric dietician calculates the child’s daily caloric intake and provides expert advice on reducing the caloric intake. The pediatric physiotherapist provides graded exercise programmes and practical ways of integrating the same into the daily routine. Successful weight loss requires solutions to treat both the mental and physical problems of overweight children.
The psychologist helps children and their families recognize their triggers for emotional eating and help them develop coping skills that encourage more constructive behaviors. They also evaluate for and help the child deal with issues of self-confidence, depression etc which could be related to overeating.
The keys to reducing childhood obesity are early detection and a comprehensive approach, taking into consideration not only the child’s physical and mental condition, but in addressing the family’s behavior pattern as a whole. This is precisely taken care by Apollo Children’s Hospital.