Child obesity

Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child’s health or well-being. As methods to determine body fat directly are difficult, the diagnosis of obesity is often based on BMI. Due to the rising prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents its many adverse health effects it is being recognized as a serious public health concern. One of the best ways to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the eating and exercise habits of your entire family. Treating and preventing childhood obesity helps protect your child’s health now and in the future.

Symptoms

Not all children carrying extra pounds are overweight. Some children have larger than the average body so they may carry weight according to their body. And children normally carry different amounts of body fat at the various stages of development. So you might not know by how your child looks if weight is a health concern.

The body mass index (BMI), which provides a guideline of weight in relation to height, is the accepted measure of overweight and obesity. Your child’s doctor can use growth charts, the BMI and, if necessary, other tests to help you figure out if your child’s weight could pose health problems.

Causes

Lifestyle issues like too little activity and too many calories from food and drinks are the main contributors to childhood obesity. But genetic and hormonal factors might play a role as well.

Risk Factors

  • Certain medications- Some prescription drugs can increase the risk of developing obesity. So, you should always be in touch with your family doctor while your child is in medication.
  • Socioeconomic factors- People in some communities have limited resources and limited access to supermarkets. As a result, they might buy convenience foods that don’t spoil quickly, such as frozen meals, crackers and cookies. Also, people who live in lower income neighbourhoods might not have access to a safe place to exercise.
  • Lack of exercise- Children who don’t exercise much are more likely to gain weight because they don’t burn as many calories as they should.
  • Diet- Eating high-calorie foods, such as fast foods, baked goods and vending machine snacks, on a regular basis can led your child in a risk of Child Obesity.
  • Family factors- If your child comes from a family of overweight people, he or she may be more likely to put on weight. This can even be possible if the environment is where food with high calorie are always available.
  • Psychological factors- Personal, parental, and family stress can increase a child’s risk of obesity.

Complications

Child obesity can cause various life-threatening complications that can affect their physical, social and emotional well-being.

Prevention

  • Make sure that your child gets enough sleep
  • Include green vegetables and protein enriched food in his/her diet
  • Exercise is must to keep your chil’s health healthy