About Child Obesity

About Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a medical condition that affect children and teenagers. It actually means that sometimes, the body stores an excessive body fat. If a child stores too much fat, he becomes classified as obese. The sign of obesity is a weight which is well above the average for the child’s height and age.

Childhood obesity is usually caused be children eating too much and not being active enough. What happens is that energy ingested becomes more than the energy burned off. Very small percentage of problems with obesity is actually related to genetics. Children who are at risk of becoming obese are the ones who:

  • Consume food and drinks high in sugar and fat on regular basis – that includes items like candy, chips,baked goods, pop and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Are not physically active every day
  • Watch a lot of TV and play lot of video games
  • Live in environment where healthy eating and physical activity are not encourages
  • Eat to help with stress and problems
  • Come form a family of overweight people where genetics may be a factor – especially if healthy eating and physical activity are not a priority
  • Come from low-income families where there are no resources or time to make healthy eating and active living a priority
  • Have a genetic disease or hormone disorder such a Prader-Willi syndrome or Cushings syndrome

Complications of childhood obesity may result in serious medical problems such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure and elevated blood cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome – a number of conditions that are associated with high blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Respiratory problem such as asthma
  • Sleep disorders such as difficulty breathing while asleep –sleep apnea
  • Earlier than normal puberty or menstruation
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Skin infections due to moisture from sweat being trapped in skin folds
  • Fatique

There are also serious psychological difficulties that can result from childhood obesity:

  • Overweight children are more likely to be teased and bullied
  • They are also more likely to bully other
  • Obese children have a poor self-esteem and feel socially isolated
  • They have an increased risk for depression
  • May have poorer social skills
  • Are a high risk for stress and anxiety
  • May have or develop behavior and learning problems as a result of psychological difficulties

Obese children and youth do not outgrow their weight problem

If you are concerned that your child is overweight or obese:

It is very important to visit your family doctor first – he can assess whether your child’s weight is in a healthy range. One thing that your family doctor will determine if your child is overweight or obese is to measure his or her body mass index – BMI. That is an indirect indicator of body fat that is based on  height and weight of healthy range compared to his or her peers. Another thing that your family physician will be able to recommend is a proper diet for your child’s age – and following it will without a doubt result in favorable outcome for your and more especially – for your child

Hope this information was helpful to you – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and much appreciated!

About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, step mother to Abbie Gateman and is also a brand new Grandmother. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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