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LoFat Juniors

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The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents is high in Kuwait, with an increasing number suffering from diabetes.

LoFat Juniors is Kuwait's first diet center to cater to children and adolescents from ages six to sixteen years. LoFat Juniors aims to provide young clientele with delicious, nutritious, pre-packaged meals to help them tackle obesity, fight disease, and improve the quality of their lives. LoFat Juniors' programs are designed to enhance the children's overall physical and mental well-being, while developing their self-esteem during their formative years.

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What is Childhood Obesity

Getting Started: What is Obesity ?

Obesity is defined as excess body fat. Because body fat is difficult to measure directly, obesity is often measured by body mass index (BMI), a common scientific way to screen for whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

Healthy Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI measures weight in relation to height and while it is not a perfect indicator of obesity, it is a valuable tool for public health. Adults with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 are normal. Adults with a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 are considered overweight, those with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese, and those with a BMI of 40 or more are considered extremely obese.

For children and adolescents, these BMI categories are further divided by sex and age, due to the physical changes that occur during growth and development.

Growth charts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are used to calculate children's BMI. Children and adolescents with a BMI between the 5th and 85th percentile are considered to be a healthy weight. Children in with a BMI between the 85th and 94th percentiles are generally considered to be overweight, and those with a BMI at or above the sex-and age-specific 95th percentile of the population on this growth chart are typically considered obese.

What is a Healthy Weight?

Determining what is a healthy weight for children is challenging, even with precise measures. BMI is often used as a screening tool- since a BMI in the overweight or obese range often, but not always, indicates that a child is at increased risk for health problems. A clinical assessment and other indicators must also be considered when evaluating a child's overall health and development.

For children and teens, being overweight is defined differently than it is for adults. Children are still growing, and boys and girls develop at different rates.

Calculate Your Child's BMI Percentile

A child's BMI percentile shows how his or her BMI compared with other boys or girls of the same age. A child or teen that is between the 85th and 95th percentile on the growth chart is considered overweight. A child or teen who is in the 95th percentile or above is considered obese. For children, BMI testing is used to screen them for being overweight, healthy weight, or underweight. It is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a child may have a high BMI for age and gender, but to determine if excess fat is a problem, a medical professional would need to investigate further and perform additional assessments. Talk to your health care provider to learn more.

Effect of Childhood Obesity

Health Problems and Childhood Obesity

What are the health risks for children who are overweight or obese ?

Doctors and scientists are concerned about the rise of obesity in children and teens because obesity may lead to the following health problems :

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Social discrimination

Obese children may experience immediate health consequences which can lead to weight-related health problems in adulthood. Obese children and teens have been found to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), including high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and abnormal glucose tolerance. In addition, studies have shown that obese children and teens are more likely to become obese as adults.

Stigma and Self-Esteem

In addition to suffering from poor physical health, overweight and obese children can often be targets of early social discrimination. The psychological stress of social stigmatization can cause low self-esteem which, in turn, can hinder academic and social functioning, and persist into adulthood. While research is still being conducted, there have been some studies showing that obese children are not learning as well as those who are not obese. Further, physical fitness has been shown to be associated with higher achievement.

Healthy Tips for Parents

  • Add vegetables for dishes which your kids prefer such as : sweet corn,baby carrots and peas
  • Buy lower fat versions of sausage, dairy products and bake them rather than frying
  • Make your own home made burgers and chips by cutting potatoes and then brush with little olive oil and add spices
  • If children won't eat whole bread, try high fiber white bread for sandwiches
  • Use whole wheat pasta when mixed with sauce it's impossible to tell it's not white
  • Children enjoy helping adults' grocery shop, selecting what goes in their lunch box, and preparing dinner. It's also a chance for you to teach them about the nutritional values of different foods and how to read food labels.
  • Make fruits a part of their daily diet for example you can add two pieces of their favourite fruits
  • Avoid sugary and processed juices and replace it by fresh juice, banana or strawberry milk shake

If your child is picky :

  • Offer new food only when your child is hungry.
  • Present only one new food at a time.
  • Make a fun eating experience by cutting the food into unusual shapes (faces, cubes).
  • Serve new foods with favorite foods to increase acceptance.
  • Eat the new food yourself, children love to imitate.
  • Have your child help to prepare food; often they will be more welling to try something new when they help make it.
  • Limit beverages and snacks.

Healthy Tips for Kids

Have Fun with Fruits :

Fruits have important nutrients (vitamins and minerals) to keep your body healthy,here are a few ideas to enjoy more fruits:

Join your parents in food shopping trips. Ask to try new fruits like peaches, pear and kiwi- there are a lot of sweet and delicious fruits that you can have fun tasting.

Make a fruit salad with a mix of strawberries, mango, grapes and oranges or whatever else you have in the house.

Make fruit kebab from your favorite types of fruits.

Drink smart

Drink 100% juice without added sugars.

Choose low fat or skim milk.

Pass on sugar sweetened drinks and choose water instead.

Vary Your Veggies

Vegetables have the vitamins,minerals and fibers your body needs to graw up healthy.here are some simple ideas to eat more veggies every day:

Snack on veggies like baby carrots ,cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices.

Keep it colorful- make a salad with a variety of veggies, like corn, carrots, and spinach.

Join your parents in food shopping trips and choose new veggies like sweet potatoes,beetroots,red capsicums.

Try mixing veggies into your favorite foods.For instance,order a veggies pizza with topping like mushrooms,green peppers,and onions.

Move Every Day !

Kids need 60 minutes of active play every day and when you get moving you are more likely to:

Feel less stressed.

Feel more ready to learn in school.

Keep a healthy weight.

Sleep better at night.

Build and keep healthy bones, muscles and joints.