By Mariel Uyquiengco
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity is “one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. “ Once thought to be just present in high-income countries, it is now also found in low- and middle-income countries as well. Obesity is defined as “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health,” and is linked to more deaths than being underweight.
The change in global diet, according to WHO, has seen children eating less fruits and vegetables and more of foods that are low in vitamins and minerals. Chef Jon Philip Chua, who was trained in the United States and has certification in Nutrition, says that the culture of eating “junk foods, processed foods, and fast foods” is definitely a factor in childhood obesity.
Curbing obesity in children, however, is not an easy task, as the root of the problem is cultural and societal. Fast food restaurants abound, and digital childhood games and toys promote a sedentary lifestyle. Chef Jon encourages parents to shoulder the responsibility of providing their children with the right kind of diet. A balanced meal must have “the right load of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.”