Survival of the Fittest: A kid who fought and defeated obesity

Kids, who grow up in cities, travel in cars and eat on their own sitting in front of a screen, actually live the life like a king. Today’s kids have smartphones, bigger pocket money and freedom to spend it. Childhood is a tumultuous time, the mind and body grows faster and curiosity is at its all-time peak. Any child, with access to internet can understand and comprehend Obesity and its dangers. The question… ‘Is it too late?’

It never is too late to act and care for yourself. A boy living in one of the metro cities learned it the hard way. Living in a nuclear family, with working parents and heaps of smart gadgets, he had almost raised himself. Brands kept on advertising junk food to him. He picked a burger on the way back from school and relished it while surfing the internet. He had friends but he seldom went outdoors to play, rather he preferred his PlayStation. And he was not the only one; he was connected on social media with other kids that lived almost similar lifestyle.

This lack of attention in the childhood was like a time bomb. Because all the attention was bound to come back and haunt him when he steps out of the house. All these time, he was indulging in a very common phenomenon our times. Obesity – the vicious never ending circle of ignorance and embarrassment. Non nutritious food had diminished his immune system, agility, self-esteem and he was staring at the risk of cardiovascular diseases, breathing difficulties, osteoarthritis, diabetes and stroke when he thought, ‘it’s not too late!’

He only had a word to start with, Obesity. But he still had that child inside him, so curious and agitated. He harnessed the will power to reduce consumption first and starve himself, failed. Then he tried to run for miles and exhaust himself, again failed. The websites and videos were informative, but sadly not helpful. And he was no closer to imagine himself as a fit and healthy individual. All he needed here was to realize his condition medically, check the parameters and devise a strategy for the coming years.

Being overweight was an issue not the eating
Lack of physical activity was the problem not the calories
Junk food was the culprit not the child himself
Health hazards were the biggest risk not the inconvenience
Death was the worst fear not the social stigma while living

It was not too late for him after all. Only silver lining to this story is that lifestyle interventions early in childhood may be fruitful. Reducing BMI of adults is much less effective. We can’t tag Obesity as a lifestyle-driven problem because impaired hypothalamic signaling, complex interaction of genetics and the environment could also be a contributing factor. But it is clear that lifestyle could amplify the onset of symptoms.

 

Childhood obesity treatment should be focused on primary prevention rather than the treatment of symptoms of obesity, because treatment may turn futile as obese children physically and psychologically grow up and mature. That’s why it is important for parents, communities and schools to aware the kids about it and include physical activity in their everyday life.

One may spot obese kids in the society everyday but rather seeing them as fat one, rather we should see them as one in the dire need of guidance and support. Because the kids conceive ours and their own future, they shape the direction where the country progresses. India ranks just next to US and China in the incidence of Obesity. And riding on growth and progress in metro economy, Indian youth is facing the highest risk.

It requires a thorough scientific research to get rid of myths and presumptions about Obesity. Citizens, media, government agencies and even academic institutions must form an alliance to tackle the situation for a healthier future of the nation.