Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. Obesity is present when total body weight is more than 25 percent fat in boys and more than 32 percent fat in girls. There are various medicines like Phentermine, Adipex etc. which aid in the weight loss for adults but these medicines are definitely not meant for children.
Causes of Childhood Obesity:
– Family: A child whose both parents are obese has a higher chance of developing obesity as compared to other children. This can happen for a variety of reasons like genetic factors or may be the sedentary lifestyle of the parents or the lack of exercise in their daily routine. This can make the child born with obesity.
– Inactive Life: Children these days spend more of their time on playing video games and watching T.V. This has prevented the children of today to engage in some healthy ground activities like sports. Hence children are gradually becoming couch potatoes. Leading an inactive life has made them grow into an obese from just being overweight.
– Heredity: Since not all children leading a sedentary lifestyle, watching more of television, and eating just about anything does not make every child obese therefore researchers are working upon the reasons that why it is so. Heredity has recently been shown to influence fatness, regional fat distribution, and response to overfeeding. In addition, infants born to overweight mothers have been found to be less active and to gain more weight by age three months when compared with infants of normal weight mothers, suggesting a possible inborn drive to conserve energy.
– Lower income and education levels correlate to lower physical exercise levels in developed countries.
– Television advertising of food and beverages directed towards children are usually for products that are high in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat.
Being overweight can cause:
1. Low self-esteem and bullying
2. Behavior and learning problems
3. Stress and anxiety
4. Comfort eating
6. Type 2 diabetes
7. High blood pressure
8. Asthma and other respiratory problems
9. Sleep disorders
10. Liver disease
11. Early puberty
12. Eating disorders
Prevention of Childhood Obesity:
Obesity is easier to prevent than to treat, and prevention focuses in large measure on parent education. In infancy, parent education should center on promotion of breastfeeding, recognition of signals of satiety, and delayed introduction of solid foods. In early childhood, education should include proper nutrition, selection of low-fat snacks, good exercise/activity habits, and monitoring of television viewing. In cases where preventive measures cannot totally overcome the influence of hereditary factors, parent education should focus on building self-esteem and address psychological issues. Childhood obesity is an increasingly difficult problem. Action, if taken early, can change the outcome for obese children or even prevent it happening in the first place. An appropriate exercise problem is one tool that can alter the outcome for such children.