Childhood obesity is difficult to detect in a culture that values cherubic babies. Sadly, it's true. A "big" child is viewed as "healthy," whereas a "thin" kid is one who is skinny. It is not really their fault. Who doesn't like a chubby child? Fat may look cute on a child, but it becomes a huge problem if carried into adulthood. Childhood obesity continues to rise to alarming proportions throughout the world. It has reached epidemic levels in both developed and developing countries.
Obesity in children is not merely a cosmetic problem or something a child will outgrow. Fat children often grow up to be obese adults, and obesity is linked to a number of medical conditions.
Childhood obesity and being overweight are known to negatively affect both physical and mental health. Children who are overweight or obese are more likely to be overweight into adulthood and have a younger onset of non-communicable diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.
Children are now taking the same type of medications as their parents to manage blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. It sounds disturbing, but this is real.
Today, nearly one in four children and adolescents in developed countries is overweight or obese. These extra pounds put children at risk of developing serious health ailments like asthma, joint problems, type 2 diabetes, chronic heart diseases, high cholesterol, etc.
More often than not, childhood obesity is the result of multiple factors working simultaneously. Research indicates that there is a direct relationship between birth weight and BMI. Breastfeeding for a longer period of time has been found to reduce the risk of childhood obesity. Malfunctions of the endocrine glands and the resultant changes in metabolism also result in an increased BMI.
Obesity is thought to be a condition with a variety of causes, although its exact mechanism of development is not entirely understood.
The global increase in obesity rates is largely the result of environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and cultural context. Being overweight and obese is thought to be caused by an increase in calorie and fat intake. On the other hand, there is evidence that excessive sugar intake from soft drinks, increased portion sizes, and a steady decline in physical activity have all played major roles in the global rise in obesity rates.
Obesity can have a negative impact on a child's physical health, social and emotional well-being, and self-esteem. It is also linked to poor academic performance and a lower quality of life in children. Overweight children frequently struggle to keep up with their peers and participate in sports and other activities. Other kids may tease or isolate them, resulting in low self-esteem, a negative body image, and even depression.
Obese children are more likely to develop health issues than normal-weight children. causing problems such as asthma, joint pain, type 2 diabetes, chronic heart disease, high cholesterol, and so on.
The following are some of the major health problems that an obese child may face or be at risk of:
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot metabolize glucose properly. Diabetes can cause eye diseases, nerve damage, and kidney failure. Obese children and adults are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. However, changes in diet and lifestyle may reverse this condition.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure increase the risk of future heart disease in obese children. Foods high in fat and salt can lead to elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. Heart attack and stroke are two of the possible complications of her heart disease.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways in the lungs. Obesity is the most common comorbidity (when the two diseases occur together) with asthma.
Children may also suffer from joint stiffness, pain, and a limited range of motion due to excess weight. Losing weight can often eliminate joint problems.
Not all overweight children have excess weight. Some kids have bigger-than-average frame sizes. Additionally, children typically have varying levels of body fat depending on their developmental stage. Therefore, it's possible that you can't tell if your child's weight is a health risk from the way they appear. The established indicator of overweight and obesity is the body mass index (BMI), which offers a weight-to-height ratio. Your child's doctor can help you determine whether your child's weight could cause health issues by using growth charts, the BMI, and, if necessary, another test.
When to see a doctor:
Speak to your child's doctor if you are concerned that they are gaining too much weight. Your child's growth and development history, your family's history of weight-for-height, and where your child ranks on the growth charts will all be taken into account by the doctor. This might aid in figuring out whether your child's weight is within unhealthy bounds.
When you see your child, you may feel overwhelmed or helpless, but there are many things you can do for him or her.
Diagnosing weight problems and obesity as early as possible can reduce the risk of serious medical conditions developing in children as they grow older. You can improve your child's physical and mental health, break the cycle of weight issues and obesity, and help them develop a lifelong relationship with food by involving the whole family in the process. Make it clear to your child that you love them and want to see them grow and prosper.
Also, make sure your child visits the doctor at least once a year for well-child checkups. The doctor will measure your child's height, weight, and BMI at this appointment. Your child may be in danger of being overweight if their BMI percentile rank has increased noticeably over the course of a year.