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May 10

Unhealthy Snacking Can Lead To Childhood Obesity

In India the major cause for childhood obesity is overeating and unhealthy eating, in particular unhealthy snacking. A snack is a portion of food, smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. A healthy snack is one that’s high in nutritional value (protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber) but relatively low in calories, fats, sugar, and salt.

Planning a healthy snack has numerous health benefits: helps curb cravings, prevents overeating, and keeps the kids energetic as taking snacks helps maintain even blood sugar preventing highs and lows.

Careless snacking, on the other hand, can contribute to a range of health concerns. Snacking out of habit or boredom, leads to weight gain. Also eating calorie dense snacks results in excess weight in children. Consuming sugar-rich snacks can cause high blood triglyceride levels and obesity, similarly too much salt leads to hypertension in children.

Most snacks available at sore are unhealthy, high on calories, usually high on sugars or salt. A packet of chips is about 160-200 cal/ 30g and very high on salt, similarly a packet of cream biscuits will be zero on nutrition and loaded with simple sugar.

All it takes is a little planning ahead and one can easily avoid foods that are high on sugar, carbohydrates and other convenience ready to eat unhealthy snacks. Some options of nutritious snacks for kids – a handful of nuts, fruit smoothie, egg pancakes, cheela, paneer tikka.

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