'Instead of fat shamming, teach obese children about whole foods and exercising'

South Africans are observing obesity and nutrition week and 702 Breakfast shines the spotlight on childhood obesity.

According to the World Obesity Federation, South Africa and China will have the largest increase in childhood obesity by the year 2030.

RELATED: Obesity continues to threaten young children

The number of obese children globally is predicted to reach 250 million by 2030, the federation found.

Bongani Bingwa speaks to Heart and Stroke Foundation dietitian Ntokozo Ngubane and Shaw Academy nutrition educator Abby Courtenay.

Childhood obesity is alarming and 13.3% of children younger than five are overweight or obese.

Ntokozo Ngubane, Dietitian - Heart and Stroke Foundation

She says 14.2% of school-going children between the age of six and 14 are overweight or obese.

This is a major public health concern that we are facing as South Africans because if children are obese at that age, they will grow up being obese and that will increase the risk of other diseases linked to obesity.

Ntokozo Ngubane, Dietitian - Heart and Stroke Foundation

Courtenay says parents with an obese child, need to not focus on the fact that the child is overweight.

If you focus on the child's weight and you keep telling the child that they are fat does not help.

Abby Courtenay, Nutrition educator - Shaw Academy

Instead of talking about how overweight they are, teach them about whole foods and types of physical activity. Parents need to lead by example, the entire family unit needs to be eating whole foods and exercising.

Abby Courtenay, Nutrition educator - Shaw Academy

She adds that some of the leading causes of obesity in children are due to lack of physical activity, poor diet and lack of knowledge from the parents.

Listen below to the full conversation:


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