Causes And Effects Of Childhood ObesityLeave a Comment
The statistics of childhood obesity in the US are alarming. Take a look at some of the facts:
• Over the past 30 years, the number of overweight children in American has more than doubled.
• In 1980, the percentage of 6 – 11 year olds who were overweight was 7%. In 2012, statistics indicate that more than 30% of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
• Studies show that children who were obese even at the early age of two were more likely to be obese as adults.
This is not good news at all. Childhood obesity has adverse effects on kids’ health and well-being, in the short-term as well as long-term.
Causes of Obesity In Children
The most common reasons why children become overweight and obese today are lack of physical activity and indulging in an unhealthy diet that consists of high calories and zero nutrition. Today children spend far too much time on the couch, watching television, playing video games or browsing the internet. As these activities become increasingly more popular, there is a corresponding decrease in the number of hours spent doing any physical activity.
Genetic factors also play a role but this can be overcome with the right combination of exercise and healthy child nutrition.
The Big Concern About Obesity In Children
Children who are obese can suffer from wide-ranging health effects well into adulthood.
Some of the immediate health effects include:
• Obese children are at greater risk for developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as cardiovascular diseases.
• Obese adolescents are at greater risk to have pre-diabetes, a condition in which the higher-than-normal blood glucose levels indicate a higher likelihood to for the development of diabetes.
• Obese children and adolescents have a greater likelihood of suffering from sleep apnea, bone and joint problems and a range of psychological and social problems such as low self-esteem and stigmatization.
Long-term effects of childhood obesity include:
• Children who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults and as obese adults they are more at risk for developing different a wide range of ailments including stroke, heart disease and osteoarthritis.
• Obesity is also associated with increased risk for several types of cancer.
Can Childhood Obesity Be Prevented?
Eating a healthy diet and increasing physical activity are the two of the key steps in helping children stay at a healthy weight. However, it is advisable to consult with your child’s pediatrician before you put your child on any type of weight loss program. The pediatrician will recommend a customized diet and exercise regimen that is safe and healthy for your child.
Childhood obesity is a cause for concern as it can potentially cause a host of problems for children well into adulthood. The doctors at Pediatric Partners have had several years of experience helping children maintain a healthy weight. Call them today to schedule an appointment.