Obesity is a lifestyle disease. We are on the brink of its Pandemic, with children and adolescents being the worst affected. The underlying cause is a caloric imbalance where fewer calories are spent for the ones which are consumed.
A healthy lifestyle, healthy eating habits and exercise, form the foundation of any preventive and corrective strategy. Children have become more sedentary and dependant on junk food and fast food. This, along with technology being shoved into their hands by way of pampering or bribing them, in an age of increasingly stressed and ambitious working parents and very often, more than loving and doting grandparents who are their care takers, adds to the problem.
Hence the need of the hour is to tackle this problem at a war footing: at home, at schools and at a government level who are ultimately the policy makers and law enforcers.
At home, having home cooked, family dinners, with a firm NO for fast food would be great to start with. Schools could take a firm stand against providing soft drinks and other junk food in the premises, encouraging the kids to get home cooked meals. Many schools follow a healthy practice of providing wholesome, well balanced meals. The powerful influence of school on a childâ€™s psyche could be used to inculcate good eating habits and explain the negative influence of media.