Childhood Obesity | Causes & Consequences Of Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity has become a complex health issue. It develops when a child is well above the normal or healthy weight for his or her age and height. The causes of excess weight gain in young people are similar to those in adults, including factors such as a person’s behavior and genetics.
Obesity in kids is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once considered adult problems — diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Many obese children become obese adults, especially if one or both parents are obese. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression.
What Is Childhood Obesity?
Children who have a body mass index at the same level or higher than 95 percent of their peers are considered to be obese. BMI is a tool used to determine your “weight status.” BMI is calculated using your height and weight. Your BMI percentile -where your BMI value falls in relation to other people is then determined using your gender and age.
Childhood obesity is a serious health threat to children. Kids in the obese category have surpassed simply being overweight and are at risk for a number of chronic health conditions. Poor health stemming from childhood obesity can continue into adulthood.
Causes Of Childhood Obesity
- Children whose parents or other family members are overweight or obese are more likely to follow suit. But the main cause of childhood obesity is a combination of eating too much and exercising too little.
- A poor diet containing high levels of fat or sugar and few nutrients can cause kids to gain weight quickly. Fast food, candy, and soft drinks are common culprits.
- Convenience foods, such as frozen dinners, salty snacks, and canned pastas, can also contribute to unhealthy weight gain. Some children become obese because their parents don’t know how to choose or prepare healthy foods. Other families may not be able to easily afford fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats.
- Not enough physical activity can be another cause of childhood obesity. People of all ages tend to gain weight when they’re less active. Exercise burns calories and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Children who aren’t encouraged to be active may be less likely to burn extra calories through sports, time on the playground, or other forms of physical activity.
- Psychological issues may also lead to obesity in some children. Kids and teens who are bored, stressed, or depressed may eat more to cope with negative emotions.
Health Risks / Consequences Associated With Childhood Obesity
An obese kids can have complications for your child’s physical, social and emotional well-being.
Type 2 diabetes
This chronic condition affects the way your child’s body uses sugar (glucose). Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
This cluster of conditions can put your child at risk of heart disease, diabetes or other health problems. Conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL “good” cholesterol and excess abdominal fat.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure
A poor diet can cause your child to develop one or both of these conditions. These factors can contribute to the buildup of plaques in the arteries. These plaques can cause arteries to narrow and harden, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
Children who are overweight or obese might be more likely to have asthma.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which a child’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
This disorder, which usually causes no symptoms, causes fatty deposits to build up in the liver. NAFLD can lead to scarring and liver damage.
Fighting Childhood Obesity
Increase Physical Activity
Increase your child’s level of physical activity to help them shed weight safely. Use the word “activity” instead of “exercise” or “workout” to keep them interested.
More Family Activities
Find activities the entire family can enjoy together. This is not only a great way to bond, but it also helps your child learn by example. Hiking, swimming, or even playing tag can help your child get active and start on the path to a healthier weight. Be sure to vary activities to prevent boredom.
Cut Down on Screen Time
Limit screen time, too. Kids who spend several hours a day watching television, playing computer games, or using their smartphones or other devices are more likely to be overweight
Liked what you read? Wish to know more about child nutrition, health and fitness. Learn from the expert tips, suggestions from renowned pediatrics of Pune and implement those so that your kids can have a happy, fit and healthy childhood.
Register For “Health, Nutrition And Fitness For Kids” Event
Stay tuned for FitaCon’s next event which focuses on health, nutrition, and fitness for kids.
FitaCon upcoming event focuses on ” Health, Nutrition and Fitness For Kids” hence it will be the best of amalgamation of doctors and certified professionals from respective arena offering various tips, guidance and suggestions on health, nutrition and fitness for kids.
Connect with us
Get connected within 24 hours to pre-screened, trustworthy and small business friendly service providers for Services in top Indian cities