This article talks about the risks of childhood obesity, and also the causes.
Obesity has posed a health risk not only to adults but also to children. The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years, making children susceptible to further health complications. A statistical record has shown that the rate of obesity in children of age group 6-11 years has increased to 19.6% in the year 2008, which was 6.5 in 1980. Thus, we can very well make out the rate at which this disorder is affecting children. There are many factors responsible for this condition. However, the risks of childhood obesity become evident if left untreated.
Childhood obesity facts are mostly associated with unhealthy eating habits. Obesity is a gradual process and it occurs when the calories consumed by a child is large and is left not burnt completely. Thus, deposition of carbohydrates, fats and cholesterol take place inside the body, ultimately resulting to obesity. A child is diagnosed as obese when the BMI is above 95 percentile. The dangers of childhood obesity are elaborated in the following content.
Childhood Obesity and Diseases
Firstly, we should know about the factors responsible for this. The most common cause that has affected thousands of children in the U.S. and other parts of the world is bad eating habits, consumption of high calorie foods and sloth and sluggish lifestyle, devoid of exercises. Apart from one’s bad lifestyle other causes of childhood obesity are hereditary factors and environmental conditions. A child is more likely to become obese if his/her parents had a similar history of obesity. There was a time when a healthy and fat body child was a symbol of family prosperity and wealthy lifestyle. People were ignorant of the detrimental effects of this disease. Today, WHO has taken considerable steps to make people aware of the health concerns, so that children are treated correctly. The diseases caused by childhood obesity.
- Diabetes: A child is going to suffer from Type 2 diabetes if he/she is obese. This is more frequently observed in American children who survive on fast foods and junks.
- Heart Diseases: Due to high triglycerides and blood cholesterol level, heart diseases are more likely to be diagnosed in children. The most common condition being atherosclerosis.
- Gallstones: Chances of occurrence of gallstones is higher for obese girls than in boys, if left untreated for a long time. This further gives rise to kidney disorders.
- Sleep Apnea: Overweight children suffer from this obstructive sleeping disorder. It causes breathing troubles and if the same condition continues, it leads to heart failure in children.
- Liver Diseases: Childhood obesity risks are also associated with liver disorders, the most common being Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), leading to cirrhosis.
- Menstrual Problems: Girls suffering from childhood obesity will face menstrual irregularities very frequently. They develop uterine fibroids on reaching puberty or at prepubescent stage.
- High Blood Pressure: This is one of the potential threats posed to children suffering from obesity. High B.P puts a lot of strain in the heart, resulting to cardiac problems.
- Asthma: A large percentage of children suffering from obesity also suffer from asthma. Respiratory problems arise due to obesity.
- Metabolic Syndrome: The characteristics of metabolic syndrome includes abnormal lipid levels inside the body, insulin resistance and high blood pressure. All these largely affect their health.
Apart from body ailments, psychological effects of childhood obesity are quite prominent. Children develop low self-esteem and inferiority complex on being too much fat. If not counseled properly they suffer from depression and mental stress. All these mental conditions are included under childhood obesity risk factors, that might be life-threatening in the long run.
Being parents, it’s your responsibility to endow a healthy lifestyle on your children. Immediate treatment is necessary, once it has been confirmed. Apart from medications, you have to ensure that your child eats healthy foods and does lots of physical exercises regularly.