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In the lighter mood: Dealing With Childhood Obesity



In the growing-up years, little ones are pampered with all the foods they desire. Food may also be used as a quick fix to calm a child’s tantrums. These habits may turn cute and chubby kids into overweight and obese children. Obesity will lead to an inactive kid with a low self-image. While feeding your little one good food is essential, you must also keep a check on how it’s affecting her body. Here’s all you need to know about childhood obesity and how to deal with it.

The World Health Organization has recognized childhood obesity as the most serious public health problem of the 21st century. Obesity is becoming a global phenomenon that’s affecting all economic groups and more so the newer generations. Our little ones are addicted to colas, pizzas and burgers that only increase their risks of doubling up.

Childhood obesity has increased significantly in the past few years. Obese kids today are not only surrounded by the fear of deadly health hazards but are also prone to psychological trauma due low self-image and peer pressure.

This social and psychological pressure has negative implications on the child’s behavior. As compared to normal weight children, obese children are more likely to report a low quality of life and engage in suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Obesity needs to be addressed with a proper diet and exercise regime. However, good behavioural health is a must to see long term changes.

Sometimes, educational environments provide an opportunity for discriminatory situations which result in obese kids facing various troubles like harassment, teasing and rejection from other children and also biased attitudes from teachers. Obese children are also sometimes characterised as being sorrowful, lazy and not having many friends.

Understanding some of the key causes of childhood obesity can help you know where you are going wrong so you can start making better decisions for yourself and your family.

The Causes of Childhood Obesity

There is more than one cause of childhood obesity and you will be surprised to know these culprits:

1. Prenatal Factors: Over or under nutrition during critical periods of foetal growth may lead to a large or small size for gestational age, which increases the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

2. Genetics: Children of obese/overweight parents have a greater risk of being obese.

3. Diet: Many of us eat out, making home-cooked meals a thing of the past. Fast food and foods that are high in calories and offer very little nutrition is the on-going trend. Another major factor is that many kids drink extra calories that come from sodas and other sugary drinks.

4. Physical Inactivity: Many experts talk about TV, computers, video games, etc that entertain children while keeping them sitting around for hours at a time. However, physical inactivity is the major cause of childhood obesity.

5. Environment: Our schools are also to be blamed, since very few schools give importance to physical training or sports classes. Also, children are over-exposed to commercials for fast foods, candy, sodas and the likes.

6. Unhealthy Family Eating Habits: The unhealthy eating habits of parents and family members also leave a wrong impression on the child. Hence, children are influenced to eat unhealthy right from their weaning process.

Treating Childhood Obesity

Treating obesity in children is different from treating obesity in adults. Evaluating the readiness of the child and his/ her state of mental health is very important. It is crucial to speak to your physician or a dietician about options for treating childhood obesity before starting the weight-loss program. Here are some easy tips:

1. Never make the child starve.

2. Include healthier food options rather than omitting food completely.

3. Inculcate a habit to exercise regularly for an hour a day.

Dr Bijal Srivastava is a full time paediatrician and neonatologist at Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai.

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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