Keeping children healthy is every parent’s priority, but when it comes to implementing it, it can be difficult. We know that health is happiness, but being healthy is beyond nutritious food, as it requires a careful consideration of additional aspects like children’s physical activity, and emotional well-being.
With the contemporary lifestyle, parents are very busy and do not have the sufficient time to engage in activities with children, cook a healthy meal, and spend some time outdoors. Let alone other factors such as the extreme hot weather in summer that stands in the way of outdoor activities which cause increased sedentary behaviour where children spend more time indoors on their iPad and Tablet devices.
Due to the reasons mentioned above and more, childhood obesity is on the rise globally. In the UK, a child obesity profile showed in 2017 to 2018, 2.4% of children in Reception (aged 4 to 5 years) and 4.2% of children in Year 6 (aged 10 to 11 years) were severely obese.
Similarly, according to Khaleej Times News Paper (2019), 23% of UAE children were obese in 2017 and the percentage is expected to reach 26.7% ten years from now, if no changes occurred on one’s lifestyle and habits. Twenty six percent of children population in the UAE means around 400,000 children is likely to be obese by 2030 and that rings the bell for the need of an instant action towards that matter.
The problem with obesity is not merely about the diseases and the threat it imposes on one’s health, but it can also cause psychological damage to children. Studies showed that obesity is linked to depression, sleep problems, and low-self-esteem (Reeves et al. 2008). Thus, it is important to prevent childhood obesity and work on reducing this percentage.
Many countries started to raise awareness and find ways to solve this. For instance, the governments in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates started different initiatives that encourage healthy habits and lifestyles. However, in Nurturey we believe that we as a community are all responsible to help each other.
Therefore, we decided to launch our Health is Happiness Campaign. Each week, we will put up blogs helping parents navigate their child’s health journey – physical, social and emotional. In addition, we will put up healthy recipes and daily tips that a family can adopt. In this campaign, we want to work hand in hand with parents towards a healthier lifestyle for children.