Obesity in children and adolescents is a problem that is increasingly spreading: in the meantime, about 20 percent of children in the Federal Republic today are overweight. The trend is increasing - experts are already talking about an epidemic. Since the 80s, the lifestyle in Germany has changed more and more. Children spend more and more time in front of the TV or the computer and move too little. So-called children's foods often contain too much fat and too much sugar. Children who eat properly have clear benefits in kindergarten and at school. They have greater power reserves, do not have to struggle with the burden of being overweight and create a good foundation for health and well-being in later years.
In addition to the genes, especially the education affects the weight
It is actually quite logical: those who consume more energy through abundant meals than their metabolism burns, use fat pads. Recent studies show that 10 to 20 percent of all children and adolescents are overweight. In seven to eight percent of all children and adolescents, there is already an obesity, which means they are very overweight. The problem is that 85 percent of fat children are overweight as overweight adults. But pounds are not fate - in addition to the genes, especially the education influences the weight.
"The young generation will be the first to die before their parents"
After all, schoolchildren watch about two hours a day, and instead of exercising, many still consume calorie bombs. In addition, parents and schools often teach the children too little about healthy eating. If this trend continues, every second adult will suffer from obesity in 40 years. In Western Europe, about 200, 000 people would die today. Being overweight is not just a purely aesthetic problem. Over the long term, many consequences for obesity threaten:
- Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Especially critical is the rapid increase in type 2 diabetes in adolescents.
- More and more children also have motor deficits and coordination problems due to overweight at school entry.
- In addition, severe mental harm threatens: Studies indicate that obese children are under the same psycho-stress as children with cancer during their treatment phase.
- The posture and musculoskeletal system is overused - so early damage to joints can occur.
- Social problems - for example when choosing a job or a partner.
That is why: intervention in time to move the spiral of weight no further up, but down.
"New nutrition movement for Germany"
Consumer Minister Renate Künast wants to provide several million euros for a new nutritional movement. Children should learn, according to the will of the minister, what healthy food is and what proper dietary habits bring about. There are already prevention programs for this:
- The campaign "CHILDREN EASY - BETTER EATING, MORE MOVING" campaign for nutrition education and more exercise.
- The counseling service "Fit-Kid - The Healthy Eating Action in Kitas" for better nutritional services.
Affected people need professional help and information
Parents of overweight children need to understand in good time that obesity is a health risk that can only be managed with comprehensive therapy. The parents are in demand. But many are simply overwhelmed with it.
Long-term success promises only a concept that includes a comprehensive knowledge of nutrition and sports and exercise therapy and behavioral therapy. The low-fat diet and the increase in physical activity are important pillars in the treatment of obesity. In behavior therapy, the children learn to create a problem awareness, to increase their motivation, to consolidate the newly learned behaviors. In addition, the self-control is trained and strategies against relapse are developed.
As with adults, blood pressure, fat, insulin and glucose levels should also be measured for medical care in thick children.