Updated: Aug 3
As an Indian, we all heard the phrase from childhood— “এই তো বয়স খাওয়ার, এখন খাবি না তো কখন খাবি!!” यह खाने का जमाना है, अब नहीं खाओगे तो कब खाओगे!" means “if you don’t eat in this age, when you’ll have!!”.
So, we should eat for our normal body functions and maintenance. But, we never consider about overeating. If it somehow comes to mind, we neglect this thought like use the safety belt in car. In an interesting kind, I come from a Bengali community and have a specific talent for food cultures and their recipes. Develop a love-to-eat policy, of course.
Regardless of our nature, we must focus on our overeating behaviors for the sake of our health and the health of future generations. We can control lifestyle-related disorders and diseases such as Diabetes (Type 2), hypertension, heart stroke, and obesity early if we take the appropriate precautions regarding our children's or other children's eating habits. Do you know that if one of the parents is obese, their child has a 50% chance of being obese? If both parents are obese, their child has an 80% chance of becoming obese.
The "Western Diet," which is heavy in calories, sweets, Trans and saturated fats, salt, and food additives, and low in complex carbohydrates and vitamins, is regularly consumed by children in the United States of America, United Kingdom. And you can easily notice that these trends are being popularized by TV advertisements, Posters, Movies as well as Web series. Besides, it is now become a trend to feed your child by watching mobile videos. When a trend starts, it's very difficult to counter it. These habits have an impact on health and our psychosocial environments. Besides, whenever there is any event like “Annaprasan”(Rice-feeding Ceremony), Birthday celebration, Get-together parties, different types of Anniversary etc. we as guests attends with packaged Chocolate, Sweets and so much of variety of food products. However, these all are nothing but Garbage of Junk calories which kicks the blood glucose level and collapse our normal metabolism. Short sleep intervals and late nights have a negative impact on health and contribute to obesity by altering levels of appetite-regulating hormones and causing irregular dietary habits, including late-night nibbling and eating. Fast food and soft drinks are often provided to youngsters by their parents. These foods contain a lot of saturated fat, salt, and flavours. These practices may be appealing or delightful, but always keep in mind that they are not healthy.
Due to modernization of parenthood, they put extra care and attention to their child. This is nothing but good. But in many scenarios you can find absurdity. A child can’t play for an extra hour. So, physical activity has a major role in preventing obesity. The more your children play or exercise, the more they sweat and they have better appetite. And these all have severe impact on their performances in long term. You may not see that, but your doctor will.
Now we must think, Where Does Our Ignorance Lead Us? I understand how difficult it is to modify or fight these practices that have been ingrained in customs of society. Recently, in an Anniversary event, I brought a gift contained some fruits (Papaya, Banana, Guava, Pomegranate and Sweet Lemon) and a Dahi Varh (Curd in Clay Bowl). My friends and relatives laughed at me. But each one of them was convinced and supported it. However, some of them have already started this. Sometimes this idea motivates you and sometimes it puts you in awkward position. But all we can do is try and hope.
The article is written by
Shri Asis kanti Manna
Nutritionist & Education Trainee
Digha Science Centre, NCSM
Ministry of Culture Govt. of India