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It is presumed that you have already visited the general guidelines page of the diet section, and comprehended the contents therein thoroughly. If not, please do so, and come back to this page. You can arrive at the general guidelines page by

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Today, too many children are consuming too many calories and not enough nutrients. A majority of children are not getting enough physical activity. For these reasons, more than 35% of children and 37% of adolescents are obese. The tragedy of this situation is, weight- associated diseases and conditions that were once diagnosed primarily in adults are now observed in children and adolescents with excess body fat. Examples are high blood cholesterol, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. The adverse effects of these conditions tend to persist through the life span.Prevention of obesity in childhood, therefore, is of primary importance. Strategies for combating and reversing the obesity need to be planned early. Eating patterns established in childhood track into later life.

Therefore, making early intervention on adopting a healthy nutrition behavior should be a priority. Moderate evidence suggests that increased intake of vegetables and fruits acts against weight gain. Strong evidence shows that more screen time, particularly television viewing, is associated with overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. They should not be allowed more than 1 to 2 hours of watching television, playing electronic games or using the computer each day. They should avoid eating while watching television, which can result in overeating. Decreasing time spent in sedentary behaviors, therefore, is important. Physical activity of at least 60 minutes per day should be done by them. The physical activities should be developmental, fun, and full of variety. For detailed physical activity guidelines for children and adolescents, click here.

Children and adolescents should never consume alcohol. Besides being illegal, alcohol consumption increases the risk of car accidents, traumatic injury and drowning, which are common causes of death in children and adolescents. Childhood and adolescence are periods of continuous growth and development. Special attention need to be paid for calcium consumption. Milk, curds and nuts are rich sources of calcium. Exposure to sunlight maintains vitamin D which is helpful in calcium absorption.

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