Kids today have a lot to deal with -from juggling with homework, doing projects, taking tuitions and meeting pressing deadlines to facing stiff competition, participating in extra-curricular activities and learning time management.
More often priorities are not in place and thus neglected tasks make stress inevitable. Stress leads to depression.
There is a direct correlation between depression and obesity in kids. The longer your kid is overweight, the more he or she is at risk for depression and other mental health disorders.
At the centre of the obesity-depression link is biology, the hormonal pathway called the HPA axis. It is the route of communication between the hypothalamus — peanut-sized but powerful part of the brain that governs parts of the nervous system, the pituitary and adrenal glands.
All these three points of the body work in unison to maintain chemical equilibrium when the body is under stress.
The HPA axis is instrumental in releasing cortisol or the stress hormone. It plays a vital role in energy metabolism as well as other functions.
The catch is that the cortisol prompts the body to deposit fat around the abdomen, which is extremely detrimental to health.
The abnormal functioning of the HPA axis has been linked to depression, obesity and behavioural disorders.
Obese kids are teased and more prone to low self -esteem and turn into loners. This can deepen depression. It may even disrupt normal hormonal pathways. Then again, depression may also bring on obesity.
Many studies prove that a large number of kids are obese at some point in their childhood or adolescence. The obesity epidemic among children is spiralling.