A child is considered as obese when they have significantly more weight than the ideal weight for their height. Children like adults tend to become obese when they eat more than their body can use. It is calculated using Body Mass Index which is a measure of weight in relation to height. Body Mass Index is available online as a child obesity chart. Being obese is directly connected with developing non-communicable diseases like heart problems. Childhood Obesity covid is likely to negatively impact childhood obesity levels as per a report. Child hood obesity reducing and prevention strategies need to remain a priority during the lockdown and pandemic.

Childhood Obesity Causes

The major contributor towards Childhood Obesity causes and effects is erratic lifestyle habits. Having too much calorie rich food and little to no physical activity being the prime cause across all cases of a child becoming obese. But genetics, environmental, and hormonal factors also play a significant role.

Childhood Obesity Risk Factors

Usually, several factors work in a combination to increase the risk of obesity. Here are the major factors:

  • Diet: Regular consumption of high calorie foods such as fried foods, candies, sugar loaded drinks, fast foods, desserts, and sport drinks can cause your child to become overweight.
  • Exercise: Children who do little to no physical activity are likely to become overweight because they do not burn as many calories as they are consuming. When a child spends most of the time in sedentary activities like playing video games and watching television, the problem becomes grave. Even the TV programmes feature attractive ads for unhealthy foods making them look desirable.
  • Genetics: If your child belongs to the lineage of obese people, he or she is likely to gain weight. The child is likely to be overweight if the environment does not encourage physical work and calorie rich food is easily available.
  • Psychological Factors: Some children might consume more unhealthy food to deal with problems, emotions, fight stress or to kill boredom. Junk food tends to become comfort food. Personal, parental, and family stress increases the tendency to eat unhealthy food and weight gain.
  • Socioeconomic Factors: Some people live in areas with limited access to healthy foods. Additionally, they have limited resources. As a result, they tend to buy foods which are conveniently available and cheaper. This generally leads to unhealthy foods like cookies, frozen foods, and ready to eat meals. Also, the low-income neighbourhoods usually do not have space dedicated for exercise.
  • Medications: Some prescription medicines like steroids can increase the risk of child obesity causes and complications.

Childhood Obesity Effects

Obesity increases the risk for developing gastrointestinal conditions. Are you not sure about what is gastroenterology or what is a gastrologist? When you are worried about your child and obesity issues, then you need to understand gastrologist meaning. It can help to know that obesity can directly cause gastroesophageal reflux disease, diarrhea, liver disease and others. Of the several negative effects, obesity is associated with gastrointestinal inflammation increasing the risk of paediatric ulcers. This raises the concern is stomach ulcer dangerous. Diagnosing a stomach ulcer in children can be challenging. A paediatric gastroenterologist has special training to treat stomach, esophageal obstruction symptoms and other disorders associated with child obesity.

Childhood Obesity Complications

  •  Obesity in children often causes complications in their social, emotional, and physical well-being. The complications of childhood obesity include:
  • High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol: Unhealthy diet leads to developing either one or both conditions. The arteries thicken and narrow down making it difficult for the heart to pump blood to all parts of the body. It causes a heart stroke or an attack later in life.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Obesity impacts the way sugar or glucose is processed by the body. A sedentary lifestyle coupled with obesity can heighten the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Being diabetic also increases the risk of developing other complications like kidney failure and heart disease.
  • Joint Pains: Additional weight causes extra pressure on hip, legs, and foot joints. Obesity can also increase the risk of injuries due to a fall.
  • Breathing Problems: Overweight children are more prone to developing breathing problems. Common diseases likely to develop are asthma and obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: In this condition, fatty deposits build up in the liver causing scarring and liver damage. The disease with no typical symptoms cannot be diagnosed in early stages leading to severe complications.
  • Social and Emotional Issues: Obese children may face more bullying or teasing from their peers. They are more likely to suffer isolation, lower self-esteem, and depression. It can lead to anxiety, increased stress, risk of depression and tendency to binge eating or eating more comfort foods leading to a vicious cycle.

Childhood Obesity Management

The best child obesity management guidelines enable you to help your child not only prevent extra weight gain but also reduce weight already gained. Consult a gastrologist and gastroenterologist for better and informed decision making in obesity management.

  • Change Habits: Set a good example by adopting healthy eating habits and following a regular exercise routine. By making it a family affair, everyone will be motivated to be involved.
  • Keep Healthy Snacks: Try not to stock unhealthy foods. When shopping for snacks, look for healthier options like popcorn, hummus, whole grain biscuits etc.
  • Ensure Enough Sleep: Sleeping less than eight hours may increase the risk of obesity. Sleep deprivation may cause hormonal imbalance which leads to increase in appetite.
  •  Give Non-food Rewards: Giving candies as a reward for good behaviour should not be a strategy.

Connect for an online dr chat for a detailed strategy for child obesity management.

Obesity in Childhood is a serious medical disorder that affects children and teenagers. Child obesity is a major cause of diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure that normally affects adults only. The only way towards obesity management is improving unhealthy eating habits and following a regimen of exercise consistently. 

For getting expert advice or consultation, call +91 98994 79984 and book your appointment.

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