American Hospital Blog

Obesity  in Children

Obesity in Children

Children and adolescents may suffer from obesity which is a very serious medical condition. Obesity in children and adolescents is dangerous because it may lead to some health problems which once we considered only for adults.

There are simple life changes that we can make to reduce the risk of obesity in children. Such as improving eating habits and exercising regularly. Preventing obesity in children will do so much for their health

Obesity Causes:

Genetics and hormonal development may cause obesity but the main cause behind the disease are lifestyle problems like diet, lack of exercise, etc.

Obesity Symptoms:

Obesity is not overweight. Some children might have a larger body frame but that does not mean that he is obese. While developing children’s body types may look different because they store fat in different places. If you are worried that your child might have obesity you should calculate his BMI (Body Mass Index).

What is BMI?

BMI is a system that allows you to evaluate the weight according to the height of the person. It is a simple equation that you can do easily. BMI provides you the stages of height-related weight. It can simply suggest that if someone is overweighted, obese or normal.
A doctor’s opinion on a child's growth is extremely important so you should let the doctor use the data you have of BMI.

When Should You See A Doctor?

You should see a doctor as a routine about your child’s growth. If you realized that recently your child gained some weight, it is best to get a doctor’s opinion. Your doctor will consider your child’s place on growth charts and genetics which will help diagnosing obesity in early stages.

Risk Factors of Obesity in Children and Adolescents

There are many factors that might cause obesity. Only one factor may be effective in this disease, or it is also possible for two or more factors to act together. Here are some factors which increase the risk of obesity in children:

Diet: Diet is the most important factor when it comes to obesity. There are so many processed foods that might make your child obese. Fast foods, candies, desserts, snacks, and baked goods increase the risk of obesity. Drinking can increase the risk as well as eating. Researches showed that sugary and some fizzy drinks cause obesity. Having a high-calorie diet will cause obesity. To protect your child from obesity, you should be aware of your child’s eating habits.
Lack of Physical Activity: Exercise helps children to burn more calories which will keep them from putting on weight and eventually from obesity.
Genetics: Genetics defines some parts of the body. If obesity is common in the family this may affect the children too.
Medication: Certain medications might make gaining weight a lot easier which could end with obesity. If your child has obesity you should tell the doctor so he/she arranges the medication according to his condition.

Complications of Obesity in Children and Adolescents

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Joint pain
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Breathing problems
  • Psychological problems like anxiety, depression, etc.

How to Prevent Obesity

  • You should create an eating schedule for your child and the family so that everyone sets a good example.
  • You should try to change snacks and fast foods with fruits and vegetables
  • You should encourage him or her to do sports on a daily basis.
  • You should make healthy snacks for your child.
  • You should make sure that he or she sees the doctor at least every year for the routine controls. So that you can know when your child gains weight and when he/she is in danger of obesity.

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