Nursing lecturers study factors contributing to overweight and obese toddlers

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS- “Nutritional problems in toddlers are important things that need serious attention. The public’s attention is currently focused on thin or malnourished toddlers. Being overweight and obese in some communities is still considered not an important issue for toddlers.

That is a statement of a research by Praba Diyan Rachmawati, S.Kep., Ns., M.Kep, and team on “factors contributing to overweight and obese toddlers “. According to the research, many toddlers are obese or with over nutrition.

“Based on the Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) in 2013 in Indonesia, there was an over nutrition prevalence by 11.9%. In East Java Province in 2012 there was 10.6% of toddlers who were overweight, ” she explained.

In her research, toddlers with over nutrition and obesity need to be aware of the bad impact both short and long term. Fat toddlers tend to be less active and often experience delays in motor development which then also have an impact on other aspects of development.

“Furthermore, there is risk of obesity in adulthood, metabolic and degenerative diseases as a long-term impact of children with obesity,” she explained.

Obesity in children and toddlers is related to improper lifestyle and feeding patterns such as lack of attention to the type and quality of food provided, and the shift in children’s games that used to involve a lot of physical activity. Nowadays, they are directed to the use of electronic devices such as gadgets and televisions that do not involve physical activity.

Moreover, the factors of maternal behavior based on the Health Promotion Model measured in the research are previous maternal behavior, perceived benefits, perceived obstacles, self-confidence, attitudes related to actions and commitments of mothers in meeting nutrition in infants.

“It is known that, the constraints felt by the mother are stronger than the perceived benefits of the mother. Environmental factors beyond your control are difficult to prevent, which has an indirect contribution to the food consumed by toddlers,” she said

Praba also revealed that, in today’s modern era children are more interested in games that do not require physical activities such as the use of gadgets, so the spent energy is less than the energy intake received. Furthermore, another obstacle is the busy parents as they tend to choose foods that are filling, fast, easy to serve and liked by children.

In the end, Praba revealed that to prevent obesity it was necessary to increase parental knowledge not only about the nutritional quality of food but also toddler’s eating behavior and physical activity for toddlers.

Author: Asthesia Dhea Cantika

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Details of the research available at:

Ulfiana Elida, Rachmawati Praba Diyan, Fadhilah Dyah Khusnul. 2019. Contributing Factors of the Mother’s Behavior in Fulfilling Nutritional Needs for Under-Five Children with Overweight and Obesity. Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, Volume: 10, Issue: 8.

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