ABU DHABI // Doctors, fitness experts and nutritionists say schools and families have to work together to tackle child obesity before the epidemic creates a generation of children who will be outlived by their parents.
“I would really encourage all schools to have simple growth charts for children and they can monitor the weight against the height and age for each child at the beginning of the year,” said Dr Mohammad Chekhali, consultant paediatrician at Healthpoint Hospital, in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi. “This is a very good tool to screen the children, and get obese children to be referred to paediatricians early.”
Childhood obesity, he said, was a problem increasing “day after day”, but early treatment could prevent many diseases that arose from a poor lifestyle, such as cholesterol problems and hyperaemia – issues that many of his patients faced.
Dr Girish Juneja, of Al Zahra Hospital in Dubai, said school nurses should contact parents if they noticed a child’s weight was abnormal and work together to tackle the problem.