Diksha's parents were shocked when the doctor attributed their plump 5-year-old daughter's lack of concentration to malnutrition. How could a chubby girl from an upper middle class family be 'malnourished', they wondered?

Like most people, her parents were mistakenly equating chubbiness to healthiness.
Like it or not, our kids today are a part of the junk food generation. This phenomenon is not only prevalent in developed countries but has also started gaining momentum in developing countries like India. 
It is important to remember that physical and mental development of a child depends to a large extent on the nutrition he gets in the first 2-3 years of his life. Genetic factors do play an important role in the growth and development but there are areas in which you can make a difference. A diet dependant on junk food is loaded with empty calories, saturated or trans-fats and lacks sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals in it. It is an important cause behind obesity and disturbed attention. Besides, obese children with faulty dietary habits might often be anaemic and may have a low resistance to diseases, with recurrent day to day infections caused due to poor intake of micronutrients.
Remember that the first step towards solving a problem is realizing and accepting it. Parents usually overlook their child's chubbiness and it slowly gets out of control. Obesity is controllable. It just needs commitment especially from you and other family members. Be a good role model and practice what you preach. Try stopping the buying of junk food so that your child won't have access to it at home. Don't purchase junk food for your own consumption also because he'll realize that you don't mean what you say. You have to try and be a good role model for your child .Try out interesting recipes that use nutritious ingredients and make meal times interesting, enjoyable and satisfying.
So, what can you do to change your child's eating habits? What if he refuses to eat what is put in front of him? Well, the first thing you should try and do is to not let him satiate his appetite and cravings in between meals. Snacks such as chips, fizzy drinks, tinned juices and chocolates are either full of sugar or full of fat. Therefore, they have a high calorie count with minimum or no micronutrients. Also, if children eat such snacks just before a meal, they will not want the nutritious food that is served to them.
In an age of 24-hour television and computer games, most children don't get enough physical activity to burn calories, which ultimately get converted to fat. As a parent, you must ensure that your child spends enough time each day running around or playing outdoor sports. If need be, you should go along with him.
You must include vegetables in every meal and encourage your child to take them. It will soon become a habit. Encourage the intake of fruits and salads in interesting shapes and forms. This healthy ways of eating should ideally be introduced when the child first starts with semi-solids; but it's better late than never. Healthy mid-afternoon snacks made at home should replace pre-packed munchies. As a parent, you should try to limit your child's intake of table sugar, that being the main cause of obesity amongst children. Also, limit the consumption of desserts like chocolates, cakes, and ice creams. This will not only help keep off the extra weight, but will also prevent development of caries and cavities in teeth. 
Finally, if, even after taking all these precautions your child continues to gain weight, take him to a doctor. There could be some medical or endocrinal problem that is causing his or her obesity.

Help your children maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Don't use food as a reward or punishment.
  2. Involve your children in meal planning and grocery shopping. This helps them gain practical experience and gives them a role in the decision making process.
  3. Eat meals together as a family and eat at the table, not in front of a television. Eat slowly and enjoy your food.
  4. Go out together as a family for walks, jogging, cycling, swimming, or other outdoor physical activities