Saturday, January 30, 2010

Childhood Obesity


Childhood obesity is a serious public health concern.  It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. This is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child's health or well-being.  Health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol now affect children too because of childhood obesity.
There are some genetic and hormonal causes of childhood obesity, but most excess weight is caused by kids eating too much and exercising too little.

The following factors increase the risk for childhood obesity.
1.  Diet -  High- calorie foods such as fast foods, pastries, sodas, candies, junk foods contribute to weight gain.
2.  Physical Activity -  Sedentary kids are more likely to gain weight because they don't burn calories through physical activity. Inactive leisure activities, such as watching television or playing video games, surfing the Internet contribute to the problem.
3.  Genetics - family history of obesity
4.  Family factors - Parents should be responsible for putting healthy foods in the home.  Parents should set a good example.
5.  Socioeconomic factors - Poverty and obesity often go hand in hand because low-income parents may lack the time and resources to make healthy eating and exercise a family priority.

Obese children can develop serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease, often carrying these conditions into an obese adulthood. Being overweight causes low self-esteem and may predispose the child to depression.  Overweight children tend to have more anxiety and poorer social skills than normal-weight children have.  They are usually teased or bullied by their peers.

If you're worried that your child is putting on too much weight, talk to his or her doctor or health care provider.  Treatment for childhood obesity is based on your child's age and if he or she has other medical conditions. Treatment usually includes changes in your child's diet and level of physical activity. In certain circumstances, treatment may include medications or weight-loss surgery.

2 comments:

DOCTOR ONLINE said...

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JENIE said...

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hope to see you on the comment page ;)

BTW, love the post...caring for our youth always is mighty important!