If you got kids, and they’re quiet fat, well, they may look cute for now. However, once they grow up, baby fat may not sound cute anymore, because they could become obese, and be more prone to a lot of obesity-relate diseases. Today, most schools in the developed world are banning sodas, cupcakes and other junk foods, in a bid to stem the rising number of the obese. So when, and how early, should obesity prevention start?
The Numbers of The Young & Obese Are Rising
Obesity isn’t just spreading in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, but also in the developing world. And like children and teenagers, babies are getting alarmingly fatter too. It’s estimated that one in ten children under age two is overweight. The number of kids aged 2-5 years old who are obese have also risen from 5 percent in 1980 to 12.4 percent in 2006.
Despite the alarming rise in childhood obesity, most prevention programs and methods have continued to veer away from planning interventions at such a young age. One of the reasons is because the number of obese teens is way higher than that of younger children, which is currently pegged at 18 percent.
Anti-Obesity Interventions Aimed At School-Aged Kids May Be Too Late
The current obesity-prevention programs being undertaken today are usually designed to target school-aged children. A new study however, says that may be too little, too late. The study notes that the interventions by parents and health care experts should be done during the toddler years, or even during infancy.
The research team stresses that if no major healthy-eating interventions are made during the toddler years, it may be quite hard to stop the obesity curve by the time the child reaches kindergarten. Although the new study is not 100 percent accurate, it still stresses that prevention should begin at a very early age. This perhaps explains why a lot of alternative and unique methods (like hypnotherapy for weight loss) are fast gaining popularity.
What Should Be Done To Halt The Obesity Crisis?
In order to stop, if not slow down, the obesity epidemic, public and private health officials are now coordinating with non-government organizations to complement the minimal impact made by clinical interventions, education and counseling. Among the new strategies includes changing the food environment, by improving the image of healthy food, and making unhealthy food less attractive and more expensive.
Because sugar-sweetened beverages and sodas are the major contributors to obesity, more schools today are serving drinking water, instead of colas and sodas, in order to reduce caloric intake among kids. In New York City for example, an initiative is now being implemented to significantly reduce sweetened-beverage consumption, by encouraging both young and old to make water the beverage of choice.
The war on obesity is also heading to the tax front. Today, governments are creating tax policies to reduce the consumption of unhealthy items such as alcohol, junk food and tobacco. The proceeds from the anti-obesity tax is then used to support obesity-prevention programs like physical education in schools, and in incentives for increasing fruit and vegetable production, as well as consumption.
So if you tax a 1-oz sugar-sweetened beverage by just ten percent, the resulting price increase should perhaps make more and more people frown on buying colas and sodas. Health experts are also proposing that subsidies which promote unhealthy food consumption should be removed too, so that people will be discouraged from buying them. And maybe today, it would be high-time for us to try other unique (and effective) obesity-reduction programs like hypnotherapy South Australia.