UNAIR expert: don’t underestimate obesity in toddlers

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Community’s focus on obesity in toddlers is still low. Society tends to be wary of malnutrition rather than obesity. Many consider that fat toddlers are a sign that the toddler is developing and growing healthily, but that is not the case.

Praba Diyan Rachmawati, S.Kep., Ns., M.Kep as Faculty of Nursing (FKp) UNAIR Lecturer conducted a study entitled Contributing Factors of the Mother’s Behavior in Fulfilling Nutritional Needs for Under-Five Children with Overweight and Obesity which gave a little picture about childhood obesity. She said the problem of obesity should be taken seriously because if left unchecked it would have a negative impact both short and long term. Based on the 2013 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) it was mentioned that the prevalence of over nutrition in Indonesia was 11.9 percent. Moreover, 10.6 percent of children under five in East Java are overweight.

“Toddlers who are obese will usually be more passive physically. They often experience delays in motor development which then also impacts other aspects of development. It is undeniable the toddlers will become obese in adulthood with metabolic diseases, and degenerative diseases, “said Praba Diyan.

According to her, obesity status in infants is closely related to the diet given by the family. The provision of food exceeds the daily calorie limit of toddlers. Families do not pay attention to the type and quality of food which is appropriate for the toddlers.

For her, it is very important to look at the factors contributing to family behavior in fulfilling nutrition in toddlers. She also mentioned other factors leading to the use of electronic devices such as gadgets and televisions that do not involve physical activity.

Praba Diyan obtained data from mothers who have children with over nutrition status and obesity from puskesmas and village midwives based on the WHO’s nutritional status reference standard. The study took the population of mothers who have toddlers with over nutrition status and obesity aged 26-30 years. The results showed more than half of the total number were unemployed mothers, most of whom had a high school education, with high-income family economics, while the characteristics of children who experienced over nutrition and obesity in this study were mostly 3-5 years old and more than half were male.

The benefits and obstacles are felt by the mothers. Mothers basically have a strong position in choosing nutrition to be given to toddlers. With the knowledge, it will be a great motivation to fulfill the child’s nutrition appropriately, by choosing quality food both in terms of type and amount provided.

“Obstacles are felt stronger than the benefits felt by mothers,” she continued.

She said the first factor was the environment. This factor is difficult to prevent, as a result mothers cannot control what foods to consume by toddlers.

“For example, there are food advertisements that attract children’s attention. One trigger for over nutrition or obesity is the lack of physical activity. Obesity occurs when energy intake is greater than the energy expended, ” she concluded.

Author: Tunjung Senja Widuri Editor: Nuri Hermawan Here is the link related to the article: http://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:ijphrd&volume=10&issue=8&article=525

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