NCC Seychelles

Children & Health

Obesity is a medical term. It is used to describe kids and adults who carry 20 percent extra body weight. This extra weight could cause serious health problems at some point. If not treated at an early stage, being obese can cause you problems such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and depression.

How do you know if you're obese?

Sometimes working out if you are obese can be hard. You might feel fine and happy, and after all, children grow fast! Sometimes though, you may get comments from other kids or relatives, or hear people talking about ‘puppy fat’ or ‘filling out’.

Nowadays there are more and more children with obesity. This is why it can be difficult to tell just by comparing yourself to your friends and classmates. So, what’s the sure-fire way of finding out? Most experts, doctors and dieticians agree that the Body Mass Index is the best way to find out if you are overweight.

Did you know?
In the Seychelles right now, one in five children are obese. 

Find your BMI

The Body Mass Index or BMI is the easiest way of finding out if you are a healthy weight. You weigh yourself, then your measure your height. Then you use the BMI calculation below.

weight (kilograms)
------------------------------------------------
height x height (metres)

Once you have the calculation, look at the table below and plot accordingly to your age and sex.

 

OVERWEIGHT

OBESE

Age (years)

Boys

Girls

Boys

Girls

5

17.4

17.1

19.3

19.2

5.5

17.5

17.2

19.5

19.3

6

17.6

17.3

19.8

19.7

6.5

17.7

17.5

20.2

20.1

7

17.9

17.8

20.6

20.5

7.5

18.2

18.0

21.1

21.0

8

18.4

18.3

21.6

21.6

8.5

18.8

18.7

22.2

22.2

9

19.1

19.1

22.8

22.8

9.5

19.5

19.5

23.4

23.5

10

19.8

19.9

24.0

24.1

10.5

20.2

20.3

24.6

24.8

11

20.6

20.7

25.1

25.4

11.5

20.9

21.2

25.6

26.1

12

21.2

21.7

26.0

26.7

Why are more kids overweight today?

It's now very easy for children to become overweight. Being overweight is rarely to do with a medical problem. Many kids have unhealthy diets and don’t do enough exercise. This means weight goes on easily.

Reasons why obesity is more common these days:

  • Junk food is everywhere and is easy and cheap to buy.
  • People are less active now and use cars and take lifts and escalators.
  • Children are doing less sport at school.
  • Food portion sizes are getting bigger.
  • Food now tends to have more calories in each mouthful.
  • Shops and supermarkets stock lots of high-fat, sweet and salty foods which people naturally like.
  • Kids are sitting down more. They're watching more and more television and playing computer games.
  • The simple fact is that if you take in more energy (food) than you burn up, your body has little choice but to store it as fat. That's the bad news!

So, whenever we take in more food than the energy we burn up by being active, our bodies store the extra as fat. This is how people put on weight.

Did you know?
Foods that are prepared and cooked at home have less calories than foods in restaurants, fast-food outlets and at school.