Childhood obesity is a serious problem which is reaching epidemic proportions. Obesity can lead to several physical and psychological problems in children. Obesity can lead to various health problems in children like high BP, diabetes and higher cholesterol levels.
There are several causes for obesity in children. Some of them are:
· Family: if both or either of the parents is obese, the tendency to gain weight is more in children. This is because of the powerful genetic factors or parent’s way of exercising and eating patterns which are imitated by children.
· Low energy expenditure: Children who watch television for several hours can develop obesity. These children continuously keep eating high-calorie snacks while watching television or doing homework which lead to overweight
· Heredity: Not all children who eat fatty and rich food and have less activities tend to gain weight. Heredity significantly contributes to obesity among children.
· Certain diseases: Some medical conditions and hormonal disorders can also be the predisposing factors for childhood obesity.
Risk Factors for Obesity in Children
There are many factors that can increase the risk of obesity in your child. Frequent snacking of high-calorie food like fast foods and vending machine snacks can lead to obesity. Children should also be cautious regarding consumption of foods such as desserts, candy and soft drinks as these can also lead to obesity. The child has to be physically active to be able to burn the calories he/she eats. Many children prefer to play computer games or watch TV for long hours these days. All these are sedentary activities that can trigger obesity among children. Some children may not be able to cope with emotional problems at home and they tend to overeat to get relief from stress. These psychological factors can also contribute to childhood obesity.
Effects of Childhood Obesity
Obese children can develop various diseases like coronary artery diseases (hardened and blocked arteries), high cholesterol, high blood pressure. Sleep disorders, Type II diabetes, liver disease, skin infections, and asthma can also be the effects of obesity. Obese children can also suffer from stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack etc in adulthood.
Healthy Diet and Exercise
Children should start a weight-loss diet as obesity can affect their growth. Fresh and well balanced diet must be followed by children. Whole grain bread and wheat products, cereals and pulses make excellent food choices apart from fresh fruits and vegetables. Children should be encouraged to actively take part in an outdoor game like tennis or football. Their TV time should be restricted. These steps may help in reducing the problem of childhood obesity.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. We aim to be as accurate as possible, but there may be some unintentional omission of information. The content is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on within this article.