What You Need to Know About Childhood Obesity?


What is obesity? This is one question that most people ask whenever a topic about obesity comes up. Well, obesity is a condition in which a person has amassed so much body fat that it poses a great health risk to them. A person is usually considered o be obese if their total body weight is about 20% more than it is supposed to be. A person whose body mass index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 can be considered to be overweight. A person whose BMI is more than 30 is usually considered to be obese.

Now that a term body mass index has come up in this article perhaps it is vital that we discuss for proper understanding. Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement that is statistically gotten from a person’s weight based on the height. Some health pundits however argue that using BMI to determine a person level of obesity can sometime be misleading. They say this is based on the fact that a physically fit muscle man/woman can show more BMI but in reality have less fat than an unfit person with a low BMI.

Child obesity overview

There are so many factors that can cause obesity in children here below are just some factors than can cause it. Basically, children who are considered to be obese are those who are above the normal weight that is ideal for their age and height.

Childhood obesity is a big medical problem that is becoming a thorn in the flesh for most parents whose children affected. Children with obesity these days experience health problems that were once only thought to be health problems associated with aging. Some of the health problems that children who are obese are more likely to experience include diabetes, high blood pressure, and also high amounts of cholesterol in the blood.

A child that is obese is also more likely to experience low self esteem and even in extreme cases anxiety and depression. You may find other children making fun of them at school for their rather abnormal weight and this is something that usually comes with damaging emotional or psychological effects.

Obesity causes and implications in Children

Consumption of too much calories

Children who consume too much calories than their bodies can burn are at more risk of becoming obese. Today children are consuming more and more carbohydrates from the sweetened drinks they like to consume every other day. This coupled with the intake of fast-foods has greatly increased child-related obesity to alarming levels.

Inactive children who take lots of calories are susceptible to developing obesity compared to children who are more active. Leading a sedentary lifestyle is also the main cause of obesity even in adults.

Obesity Gene

There is a faulty gene referred to as FTO by scientists that is blamed to cause at least one in every six people to overeat. To make matters worse for people who carry the gene is that such people tend to eat high-energy and fatty foods. These kinds of foods carry too many calories that may not be easy for the body to burn down. Unfortunately, children with the FTO genes have been found to take much longer to feel that they are satisfied when eating. This makes them to eat lots and lots of food contributing greatly to their obesity woes.

The consequences of childhood obesity

Children who are overweight go through a myriad of problems and their weight issue even prevents them from taking part in physical activities. By not participating in physical activities the problem of obesity gets even worse.

Still when a child carries too much weight it may be unhealthy for the child’s skeleton. Other things that get affected due to lots of weight include the bones, joints, and even the cardiovascular system. There are certain diseases that have been found to arise in children who are obese.

Here below are some diseases that children with obesity may suffer from:

Resistance to insulin & diabetes

The problem of insulin resistance is usually associated with a possibility of diabetes development. Insulin resistance occurs when the body produces more insulin but cells don’t use it. When the person affected doesn’t deal with the cause of insulin resistance then it means the person will develop diabetes.

A diabetic child has got a body that will not adequately process carbohydrates thus resulting in increased glucose in the blood and urine. There two type of diabetes type 1 and type 2. Children who develop type 2 diabetics are at a more risk of experiencing stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, eye problem, nerve damage, foot problems and even dental disease.

Cardiovascular disease

Children who are obese are at high risk of suffering from heart disease than those who are not. This is why it is advisable for parents with children who have diabetes to initiate doctor recommended weight loss programs for their children.

Scientifically, it has been established that a person who has got to much weight usually puts so much strain on the heart. This is something that hampers the smooth circulation of blood in the body.

Obesity can also raise cholesterol levels in the blood and with high cholesterol in the blood there is an increased risk of heart attack or increased blood pressure. Children with obesity that engage in physical activities will experience reduced risk of suffering from heart disease or blood pressure.

Musculoskeletal disorders

Children with excess weight may suffer from musculoskeletal disorders due to the fact that their bones and joints will be strained from the weight they have. Excessive weight in children also works to impede a child’s activity levels and this may work to further contribute to more weight gain.

Increased risk of cancer

This is still a subject of discussion but some scientists now link obesity in children to the increased risk of cancer. Research has it that more fats in the body predisposes the affected person to an increased risk of cancers such as endometrial cancer, throat cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, etc.

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Jennifer Shackelford

Hi, I’m Jennifer, the founder and editor of TheMamaNeeds.com. On The Mama Needs, I write about experience with pregnancy, raising kids, and nutrition for both kids and expectant moms.. I love that blogging brings parents together and lets our readers know they’re not the only ones going through these experiences. I love seeing comments on my posts that say “I thought it was just me! I’m so glad it’s not!” Being a parent is hard, but friends and blogs really help.

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