Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. children who are obese are above the normal weight for their age and height.
childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path of health problems that were once considered adult problems diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. many obese children become obese adults, especially if once are parents are obese. childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression. one of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the eating and exercise habits of your entire family. treating and preventing childhood obesity helps protect your child’s health now and in the future.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY?
There are many reasons why a child may be obese including medical or genetic ones. In most cases, though, children are overweight because they eat unhealthy foods and lead a sedentary lifestyle. If you think your child is overweight because of a medical condition, consult your pediatrician who can perform tests to check.
THE REASON WHY MORE AND MORE CHILDREN ARE BECOMING OBESE INCLUDE.
1- BEHAVIORAL FACTORS- eating a bigger portion, eating foods that are calorie-rich but nutrient-poor (junk food) spending a lot of time in front of the television or computer, and spending too little time doing physical activities.
2- GENETIC FACTORS– A child is at increased risk for obesity when at least one is obese. However, genes do not necessarily mean a child is destined to be overweight. there are several steps a child can take to lower his risk.
3- MEDICATIONS– Steroids, some antidepressants, and others.
4- MEDICAL CONDITIONS– Genetic syndrome-like Prader Willi and hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism are among the medical disorders that can cause obesity.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY?
Excess accumulation of body fat is the significant sign of obesity is measured in terms of body mass index ( BMI) BMI measure the weight of an individual about height obesity is defined as the condition when the individual’s BMI is also is 30 or more than that apart of BMI</=30, some individual will also show following symptoms:
3- shortness of breath
WHAT TO DO ABOUT TREATING CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Treating obesity in children and adolescents differs from treatment in adults. involving the family in a child’s weight management program is a key element to treatment. as a support system, the family is integral in ensuring weight management goals are met. It is important to talk with your physician about the option of treating childhood obesity. the various treatment of obesity in children and adolescents include.
1- DIET THERAPY -When treating a child or adolescents affected by obesity it is often recommended that they have a consultation with a nutritionist that can best help children understand healthy eating habits and how to implement them in the long term diet. in some cases, nutritionists do not always recommend restricting caloric intake for children. education on how to read food levels, cut back on portions, understand the food pyramid, and eat smaller bites at a smaller pace is generally the information given to change a child’s eating habits.
2- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY– Another form of treatment of obesity in children is increasing physical activity. physical activity is an important long-term ingredient for children, as studies indicate the inactivity in childhood has been linked to a sedentary adult lifestyle. increasing physical activity can decrease, or at least slow the increase, in fatty tissues in children affected by obesity. the US surgeon general recommended that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. the individualized program, or available and possible for those children or adolescents that are not able to meet the minimum expectation.
3- BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION -Lifestyle and behavior are established at a young age. parents and children need to remain educated and focused on making long-term healthy lifestyle choices. there are several ways that children and adolescents can modify their behavior for healthier outcomes, such as: changing eating habits, increasing physical activities, becoming educated about the body and how to nourish it appropriately engaging in a support group or extracurricular activity, and setting realistic weight management goals.
4- SURGERY– while surgery has been performed on adolescents in extreme cases to treat obesity, it is only considered for those with severe medical conditions that can be improved by surgery.
5- MEDICATIONS– Medication might be prescribed for some adolescents as part of overall weight loss plans. the risk of taking prescription medication over the long term is unknown, and medications’ effect on weight loss and weight maintenance for adolescents is still in question.
PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY
whether your child is at risk of becoming overweight or is currently at a healthy weight, you can take measures to get or keep things on the right track.
1- limit your child’s consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or avoid them.
2- provide plenty of fruits and vegetables.
3- eat meals as a family as often as possible.
4- limit eating out, especially at fast food, restaurants and when you do eat out, teach your child how to make healthier choices.
5- adjust portion size appropriately for the age.
6- limit t.v. and other screen time to less than 2 hours a day for children older than 2, and don’t allow television for children younger than 2.
7- be sure your child gets enough sleep.