Day 295 0f 365


Lifestyle choices
Unhealthy diet. A diet that’s high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions contributes to weight gain.
Liquid calories. People can drink many calories without feeling full, especially calories from alcohol. Other high-calorie beverages, such as sugared soft drinks, can contribute to significant weight gain.
Inactivity. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you can easily take in more calories every day than you burn through exercise and routine daily activities. Looking at computer, tablet and phone screens is a sedentary activity. The number of hours you spend in front of a screen is highly associated with weight gain.

Day 296 of 365


Certain diseases and medications
In some people, obesity can be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing syndrome and other conditions. Medical problems, such as arthritis, also can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain.

Some medications can lead to weight gain if you don’t compensate through diet or activity. These medications include some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers.

Social and economic issues
Social and economic factors are linked to obesity. Avoiding obesity is difficult if you don’t have safe areas to walk or exercise. Similarly, you may not have been taught healthy ways of cooking, or you may not have access to healthier foods. In addition, the people you spend time with may influence your weight — you’re more likely to develop obesity if you have friends or relatives with obesity.

Day 297 of 365


People-first language emphasizes the individuality, equality and dignity of people . Rather than defining people primarily by their CONDITION, people-first language conveys respect by emphasizing the fact that people with CONDITIONS are first and foremost just that—people.

People-First Language is not something new; however, it is new to the obesity community. For years, other chronic disease, such as those in the mental health and disabilities community, have adopted People-First Language and encouraged its usage in all reporting. For example, today you will see language such as:

“The man with diabetes was elderly.” instead of
“The diabetic man was elderly.”
“Individuals affected by schizophrenia are considered to have a mental illness.” instead of
“Schizophrenics have a mental illness.”

As you can see, these statements provide clear examples of People-First Language as they DO NOT label someone their disease.

Day 298 of 365


How Can People-First Language Change Obesity?
Quite often, you will see news stories, articles and journal entries refer to an individual with obesity as “obese.” By using “obese,” we are dehumanizing individuals affected by this disease. Here are some examples of how you can use People-First Language:

“The woman was affected by obesity.” instead of “The woman was obese.”

“The man with obesity was on the bus.“ instead of “The man on the bus was very obese.”

As you can see here, as we did above, we’re no longer labeling an individual with their disease.

Day 299 of 365


Build early relationships with healthy foods
Encourage your child to try a variety of different fruits, vegetables, and proteins from an early age. As they grow older, they may be more likely to incorporate these healthy foods into their own diet.

Eat healthy foods as a family
Changing eating habits as a family allows children to experience healthy eating early on. This will make it easier for them to continue following good eating habits as they grow into adults.

Encourage eating slowly and only when hungry
Overeating can happen if you eat when you’re not hungry. This excess fuel eventually becomes stored as body fat and can lead to obesity. Encourage your child to eat only when they feel hungry and to chew more slowly for better digestion.

Day 300 of 365


Incorporate fun and exciting physical activity
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that kids and teens get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Fun physical activities include games, sports, gym class, or even outdoor chores.

Limit your child’s screen time
More time spent sitting in front of a screen means less time for physical activity and good sleep. Because exercise and sleep play a role in a healthy weight, it’s important to encourage those activities over computer or TV time.

Know what your child is eating outside of the home
Whether in school, with friends, or while being babysat, children have plenty of opportunities to eat unhealthy foods outside of the home. You can’t always be there to monitor what they eat, but asking questions can help.

Published by Stephen Ogweno

a global health practitioner, NCD advocate and mHealth Innovator

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