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Obesity In Kids

Is It Normal To Have Obesity In Kids?

Childhood Obesity 

Obesity means having too much body fat which is not the same as overweight and which means a child’s weight is in the upper range of children of the same age group and height. Obesity in Kids poses to be a serious medical condition that affects both children and adolescents because the extra pounds often lead to health problems that were once considered adult problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and thyroid. Many obese children become obese adults leading to their poor self-esteem and depression issues, especially if it is genetic and if one or both the parents are obese.

Causes:

Lifestyle issues such as very little or no activity or being involved in tasks that require very less energy (Including screen time activities such as gaming, ipads, tv), and popping in too many calories from food and drinks are the main contributors to childhood obesity. When children eat more food than their body needs for normal growth and functioning, the extra calories get stored in the fat cells for later use, and slowly over a period of time more and more fat cells are developed leading to obesity. Many Other factors such as the environment around the child, Genetics, medical conditions, hormonal and emotional disorders can also be a leading factor towards obesity in children.

Risk Factors and Consequences of Being Overweight

Many factors usually working in combination increases the child’s risk of becoming obese and unhealthy. The risk factors of obesity in children include:

  1. Diet: Regular consumption of high-calorie dense foods, such as fast foods, bakery goods, vending machine snacks, and extra sweet desserts causes the child to gain weight, and more and more evidence points towards intake of sugary drinks, including fruit juices, as culprits in obesity in some people. Purchase Personalized Diet Plans with all the nutritional benefits. 
  2. Lack of Activity: Too much time spent in sedentary activities, such as watching television or playing video games, contributes to weight gain in children because not many calories are burnt by the body in comparison to the food being eaten.
  3. Family Factors: If the child comes from a family of overweight people in the majority, he or she may be more likely to put on weight especially in an environment where high-calorie dense foods are always available and physical activity isn’t encouraged at all.
  4. Psychological Factors: Personal, parental, and stress factors in the family can increase a child’s risk of obesity. In such cases, some children tend to overeat to cope with problems or to deal with emotions and to fight boredom.
  5. Socioeconomic Factors: People in many communities have limited resources and limited access to supermarkets where they can buy healthy stuff. As a result, they might buy foods that don’t spoil quickly and are easy to cook, such as frozen meals, crackers, and cookies, all of which lead to gain weight and risk factors of obesity.

Apart from risk factors above the consequences and complications of obesity includes:

More Immediate Health Risks: Obesity in kids can harm the body in a number of ways, Obese children are more likely towards having High Blood pressure and Cholesterol issues leading to CVD, Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and in future type 2 diabetes, Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea, Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (heartburn). Psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and low quality of life are a few other consequences that can be seen among children suffering from obesity.

Prevention 

While your child is at risk of becoming overweight or is at a healthy weight more than the normal BMI (Body mass index) range, it is important that you take the given measures to keep the child on the right track. Following points, you must consider preventing obesity in your kids.

  • Limit or avoid the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages of your child.
  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables along with a balanced diet in their routine
  • Adjust portion sizes appropriately as per their age
  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep
  • Limit the “screen time” to less than 2 hours a day for children
  • Limit eating out, especially at fast-food restaurants, and teach your child to make healthier choices.

Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash

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