The obesity and overweight children affects more than 42 million children worldwide with serious consequences as the risk of suffering heart disease , diabetes , osteoarthritis and some cancers such as breast , endometrial and colon , according to the latest of the World Health Organization (WHO). The solution? A balanced diet and exercise daily, something simple but that the data shows that it costs to put it into practice.
Emilio Jirillo, professor of Immunology at the University of Bari, in Italy, and participant in the International Congress on Immunonutrition organized by the Superior Center for Scientific Research (CSIC) this week in Madrid, has highlighted the importance of controlling obesity to prevent diseases and how food influences the immune system. To put into practice a healthy life and strengthen the defenses of the little ones, Jirillo proposes the Mediterranean diet and remembers the following guidelines to carry it out:
- Eat fruits dailyand limit the consumption of juices.
- Includefresh or cooked vegetables in every meal.
- Take fish more often, at least two to three times a week.
- Use olive oilwhen we cook at home instead of butter.
- Eat bread and whole grainsinstead of refined flour products at least five times a week.
- Do not leave home without breakfast: drink milk daily , better if it is low in fat, with a toast with whole products banishing sweets and industrial pastries.
- Cut back on foods with added sugar, including juices and drinks with artificial sweeteners.
- Reduce saltand processed products with a high salt index in their composition.
- Consume only the lean part of the meatand avoid the fattiest ones .
- Eating more legumesthan meat.
- Take into account the recommendations that appear on the labels to use the appropriate amounts.
- Avoid going to fast food restaurantslike hamburgers and pizzerias.
- Make a balance between the child’s caloric expenditure and the physical activity they carry out.
Why should children play sports?
On the other hand, this specialist indicates that the little ones should practice an hour a day of moderate exercise or vigorous play that involves movement. At this point, the Spanish Association of Pediatrics points out the following benefits:
- Helps maintain a healthy weight.
- It improves the physical form, the heart, the muscular force.
- Strengthens self-esteem and reduces stress.
- Concentration increases, which is reflected in their school performance.
- Encourage socialization with other children.
- It prevents the development of diseases in adulthood such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels or cardiovascular pathologies.