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Childhood obesity is now a global epidemic reaching

alarming proportions not just in theWest but also here in

the UAE.

HEALTH

speaks to Dr. Edwin D’ Souza, Professor at

GMU who discusses the impending dangers of childhood

obesity and what we can do about it…

IS YOUR

CHILD TOO

FAT?

Global Epidemic

From a mainstream diet of

chicken nuggets and French fries

to carbonated drinks coupled

with a lack of exercise, there is no

question that childhood obesity is

on the increase and is largely due

to the lifestyle changes that have

occurred in families worldwide.

According to Dr. D’Souza, obesity

has become one of the most

important public health problems

in the developed countries. “As the

prevalence of obesity increased, so

did the prevalence of commodities

associated with obesity,” he says.

Research suggests that the increase

in childhood obesity is greater than

50 percent since 1960. This often

starts very early on in life, with the

increase in bottle-feeding and early

introduction of solids into the diet.

In fact, according to studies, babies

who gain between 3.6 to 4.5 kilograms

in their first four months, double their

chances of obesity by the time they

reach age of 20.

What It Means

The term “overweight” refers to

an excess of body weight while

“obesity” refers to excess of fat, tells

Dr. D’Souza. “BMI Body Mass Index

is the accepted standard measure of

COVER STORY

Dr. Edwin D’ Souza

Professor at GMU

12

Mar/Apr 2015