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    9 food habits that will help you control obesity

    9 food habits that will help you control obesity


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    Obesity in children is primarily caused by a combination of genetic predisposition, unhealthy eating habits, and sedentary lifestyles. Unhealthy dietary choices, such as consuming high-calorie, processed foods, and sugary beverages, contribute to excessive weight gain. Additionally, sedentary behaviours, including spending long hours in front of screens and limited physical activity, lead to an imbalance between calorie intake and expenditure.  Controlling obesity in children requires a holistic approach focused on fostering healthy eating habits and promoting an active lifestyle.

    Here are nine food-related habits that can help-

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    Promote whole foods: Encourage children to eat whole, minimally processed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, suggests Niraj Nagar, M.D. in paediatrics and child health. These foods are typically lower in calories and higher in nutrients, helping to keep children full and satisfied.

    Limit sugary foods and beverages: Reduce the consumption of sugary snacks, candies, desserts, and sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, and fruit juices. These items are often high in calories and provide little nutritional value, says Nagar.

    Emphasise balanced meals: Ensure that children’s meals are balanced, including a variety of food groups such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Balanced meals provide essential nutrients and help regulate appetite.

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    Encourage regular mealtimes: Establish regular mealtimes and avoid skipping meals, which can lead to overeating later in the day. Eating meals together as a family can help reinforce healthy eating habits.

    Control portion sizes: Teach children about appropriate portion sizes to prevent overeating. Use visual cues or measuring tools to help them understand proper serving sizes for different foods.

    Provide nutritious snack options: Stock up on healthy snacks such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt, whole grain crackers, and cheese. Encourage children to choose these nutritious options over processed snacks high in sugar and unhealthy fats, says Nagar.

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    Limit fast food and takeout: Minimise the frequency of fast food and takeout meals, which are often high in calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Instead, prioritise home-cooked meals made with fresh ingredients.

    Encourage water consumption: Promote water as the primary beverage choice for children. Limit the consumption of sugary drinks like soda, fruit punch, and flavored milk, which can contribute to excess calorie intake.

    Teach mindful eating: Encourage children to eat slowly, chew their food thoroughly, and pay attention to their hunger and fullness cues. Avoid distractions such as television or electronic devices during mealtimes, which can lead to mindless overeating.

    By incorporating these food-related habits into a child’s daily routine, parents can help promote healthy eating habits and prevent or manage obesity effectively




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