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Helping your child maintain a healthy weight

There is a relatively low prevalence of overweight and obesity among Filipino children under the age of five (2.9%) and a moderate prevalence of 9.1% and 9.8% among those between the ages of 10 and 19, according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute's (FNRI) Expanded National Nutrition Survey conducted in 2019, 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also become apparent that obesity is a significant risk factor for serious illness. Those who are obese are twice as likely to require hospitalization if they test positive for COVID-19.

These are the steps parents can take to support children on their path to having a healthy weight:

Without considering sleep, adults and kids spend nearly 7 hours a day sitting down. People sit or lie down for many inactive hours while using a phone, tablet, or computer, watching TV, or playing video games. Excessive screen time is linked to poor sleep, weight gain, poor academic performance, and poor mental health in young people.

Children must engage in physical exercise for at least 60 minutes each day. Physically active youth have stronger muscles and better cardiovascular health. Additionally, they often have stronger bones and less body fat—the risk of depression in children who engage in regular physical exercise also decreases.

Children who eat a healthy diet are more likely to obtain the nutrients they require for average growth and development and maintain a healthy weight. A healthy diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy products with minimal or no fat.

Avoiding sugary beverages like soda, juice, and flavored milk is an effective way to reduce sugar intake. Offer water, plain low-fat milk, or 100% juice as an alternative to encourage your children to reconsider their beverage choice.

Did you know that youth aged 13 to 18 require 8 to 10 hours of continuous sleep every night, and children aged 6 to 12 need 9 to 12 hours?

Obesity is partly linked to insufficient sleep because it might result in eating more and less physical activity. Make sure your kids are active throughout the day, keep screens out of their beds, and maintain a regular sleep routine even on weekends to help them sleep better.

Around 800 million people worldwide suffer from obesity, which increases their risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer.

In the Philippines, National Nutrition Council (NNC) helps mitigate obesity by promoting healthy conditions in priority areas, such as communities, schools, and workplaces, through the Overweight and Obesity Prevention and Management Program. (PIA-NCR)

Source: www.cdc.gov | www.unicef.org 

About the Author

Gelaine Louise Gutierrez

Information Officer I

NCR

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