Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder worldwide among adults as well as children. It is defined as excessive bodyweight that is more than 20 percent of a person’s ideal weight. Obesity causes fat accumulation in the body to an abnormal extent, resulting in a health risk. Some people confuse obesity with being overweight. Obesity is a medical condition that includes an excess of only body fat, whereas being overweight means weighing too much due to the combined accumulation of muscle, bone, and body fat.
Children obesity is a prevailing problem nowadays. A child whose BMI for age percentile is more than 95% is affected by obesity. Obesity in childhood takes a tremendous toll on children’s mental health. Sometimes, they feel insecure about their looks during their whole life. Therefore, childhood obesity should be treated with care and kindness.
Obesity in childhood can affect the body in many ways. Childhood obesity is a significant issue that children, as well as youths, encounter. In the beginning, it is just a few extra pounds. Still, it can cause serious health problems later in life, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Obesity in childhood can be a lethal health issue because these health problems are mostly considered adult problems.
It is very difficult for a child to overcome these issues. According to a report, there has been a rise in cases of childhood obesity in the last four decades. People don’t take children obesity seriously and consider it merely as baby fat and think that it will go away with time. Still, you should always get your child’s BMI checked if you think he is becoming abnormally overweight.
Causes of Children Obesity
Obesity results from an imbalance between calories consumed and burnt. But many other factors contribute to children obesity. According to recent studies, genetic background also plays a vital role in childhood obesity. Obesity in childhood is also caused by Antibiotics which children take in the first six months after their birth; these antibiotics affect a child’s weight between seven to twelve years of age. Other reasons for children obesity are as follows: –
Nowadays, kids eat a lot of unhealthy snacks such as sugary drinks, packed chips, daily intake of fast food, bakery items. All these things contain white sugar, which is also known as white poison. These things cause obesity in childhood. Parents play an essential role in this case, and they should always teach their children to eat healthy food and healthy snacks.
Lack of physical activity
In today’s time, children open their eyes to the digital world, and right from their birth, they are being introduced to gadgets. Children’s routine life lacks physical activities nowadays. Children cannot go to the gym and do all heavyweight exercises early on in their life. But schools and parents should engage the child in healthy physical activities such as sports, swimming, playing outdoors, horse riding lessons, etc.
Surroundings and the environment mainly influence obesity in childhood. Suppose a child comes from a stressful family environment, and the child does not feel loved. In that case, they will find comfort in food, hence getting affected by childhood obesity. One more thing is that childhood obesity is more prevalent. Suppose a child lives in a family with overweight parents and other family members. In that case, they are likely to get obese because of eating an abundance of high-calorie food and low physical activity.
Medications that cause children obesity
Certain medicines elevated the risk of obesity in childhood. Such as lithium which treats acute mania in children, propranolol treats tumors that appear under a child’s skin right after birth, and gabapentin treats seizures in children, etc.
Effect of Children obesity
There are many health issues related to children obesity, both mentally and physically. Medical problems in children obesity are the same as in adults, such as insulin resistance, Type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, renal diseases, hyperlipidemia, disfunction in reproductive organs, joint pain, PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome), and cardiovascular diseases. And psychological issues are also prevalent due to obesity in childhood. Children grow up with lower self-esteem and often go into depression.
How to treat obesity in childhood
Prevention is better than treatment, so it is better to prevent children obesity, and it is the responsibility of parents to check the BMI of their children regularly; if it is between 85th to 94th percentile, then precautionary measures should be taken as the child is overweight at that time and obesity can be prevented with proper care. Still, if BMI is 95th percentile or above, strict actions should be taken because it falls in the obesity range.
Parents should consult a nutritionist, and a proper eating plan should be taken after conduction tests such as cholesterol and glucose tests. Children’s eating habits should be changed; more physical activity should be involved in their daily routine. But suppose the BMI is more than the 99th percentile. In that case, the child should be put on rehabilitation because at this stage of childhood obesity, the child’s life is at risk. Along with treatment, you should always take care of child’s mental health and boost up their confidence because it is the most critical time to build children’s confidence.
In short, obesity in childhood is caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and lifestyle factors. But it is not difficult to treat children obesity if you get an early diagnosis and start improving their habits. It is more of a lifestyle change to treat obesity because it cannot be treated permanently at once. It is about working on your body whole life in a balanced way to keep yourself healthy and fit.
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