Obesity is a medical disorder where excess body weight increases the risk of many diseases, especially those of the heart, arthritis and Type 2 Diabetes. This condition of being obese could be due to lack of physical exercise, excessive stress or even due to genetic reasons (if obesity runs in the family). Some people with psychiatric disorders are also known to be obese.

Unrestricted amounts of eating produces a lot of energy, as it is required to maintain the huge body mass of the person, but lack of exercise helps in the accumulation of fats and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and even premature death.

Obesity has become a modern day health problem with both children as well as adults suffering from it. People are becoming couch potatoes with no or very low indulgence in physical activities.

Curtailing on junk food can reduce obesity to a great extent. It is also a good idea to substitute fatty foods with foods rich in fiber. However, this kind of lifestyle change must be permanently practiced to achieve the desired results.

Parents must take care that children do not while away long hours in front of the TV or play video games, munching on unhealthy snacks simultaneously. In other words, eating and watching TV should never go hand in hand, as children as well adults tend to lose count of calories this way.

Children should be encouraged for physical games and activities at school as well as at home. They should be engaged in games like volleyball, basketball, cricket etc in playgrounds for a few hours every week. Cycling and skipping are other sports that children love to indulge in with their friends. Yoga and gymnastics are fun, and are a great way to decrease obesity in children as well as adults.

School authorities should discourage junk foods at school cafeterias, and should include awareness on nutrition as part of the school curriculum.

All members of the family should take part in household activities like mowing the lawn and drying the clothes etc. This keeps everyone physically active and fit.

Regular and brisk walking is the best way to control obesity. Swimming is also a great exercise and trims the entire body, thus keeping obesity at bay.

Parents should stop over feeding their children on the pretext of love. Children should neither be bribed nor rewarded with chocolates. Junk foods like burgers and pizzas should be kept for special occasions and should not be a part of the daily diet. Low fat milk and fresh fruits and vegetables should be taken by adults to set an example for the children.

Aerated drinks lack nutrition and add to body weight. Children should be educated to drink healthier drinks like lemon water, buttermilk and fresh juices etc.

Obesity may be a symbol of affluence for some, but it is a gateway to diseases for many, which includes psychological problems too. After all, the age-old saying can never be truer "A healthy mind lives in a healthy body".

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