Childhood obesity is a major and very complex health issue in modern society. What causes childhood obesity is an answerable question that should divide into various subdivisions. Dear parents and caregivers, this valuable source is for you as this is a major burning issue in modern-day to day life.
Both adults and children are sharing a common cause for getting overweight, which is a broad topic including behavior and genetics. Obesity is also influenced by a person’s community as it can affect the ability to make healthy choices.
Table of Contents
What is childhood obesity?
Most of you may not know, Childhood Obesity is a medical condition whereby children and adolescents weigh 20% above the normal weight for their age and height.
This is a very common condition among children, where excess body fat affects a child’s health or well-being, With regard to obesity in children, the most common term is overweight. Childhood obesity is a non-communicable disease and this problem became a major public health issue.
As parents, you should know the acceptable method of determining obesity in both children and adults is the body mass index. It is taken by the ratio of weight to height (BMI )
Causes for childhood obesity
The major reasons are family history, psychological factors, and family history are the main reason for childhood obesity. Children whose parents and family members are overweight are more likely to follow suit. but if you eat too much and exercise too little, it is the main reason for getting obese.
If your kid is taking a diet with high sugar levels and fat, it is another cause of having overweight. Other common culprits are fast foods, soda, other sugary drinks, and candy.
If you notice a specific category of food types such as frozen dinners, salty foods, canned foods can contribute to unhealthy weight problems. But try to afford healthy foods such as fruits,veggies, and meats, It is advisable for healthy living.
Limited physical activity can cause childhood obesity a lot. A child needs to find out a way to burn the excess calories they take. Psychological issues are the other reason for having overweight. A lifestyle pattern including bored, stress or depression will lead to negative emotions among children and they ended up with obesity.
How do we take a measurement of Obesity?
If the BMI count is above the 85th percentile, we call it overweight, and if it is above 95 %. That percentile is called obesity. Normally we consider obesity ( especially in toddlers ) in children, especially after two years of age.
BMI should evaluate by a relevant medical professional as it is mistakenly ruled out in some children as excess adipose tissue or skinfold measurements. Due to these reasons, all children with high BMI need not lose weight.
BMI of children varies with age and sex. One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese than adults.
Frequent problems associated with obesity in kids
Psychological problems and physical problems are the main problems of childhood obesity.
Psychological problems of Obesity.
These kids are bullied by their friends and others surrounding them. That is the main psychological problem of having these kids. Due to this reason, most of the kids refuse to go to school and they show social withdrawal behaviors most of the time. Some categories of kids are harnessed and discriminated against by their own family members.
So this obesity problem extends too mild to moderate in the children’s social and emotional development. Ultimately they are having very low self-esteem finally ended in depression. So this is a very attentive situation in children’s life.
Take a note of the list below
These serious psychological difficulties should be concerned closely
- these kids more likely to be teased and bullied
- poor self-esteem with socially withdrawn
- Increased tendency of having depression episodes
- poor social skills and less interactive
- with a high rate of stress and anxiety
- Poor learning skills at school due to psychological issues
Physical problems of having obesity
These children are having life-threatening medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep problems, and cancers.
Also, they are having liver problems, early puberty, eating disorders, skin infections, asthma, and respiratory problems.
Most overweight kids grow up to be overweight adults who are having high mortality rates. Almost all children’s organs are affected due to childhood obesity.
Currently, most of the developed western countries’ populations are having a shorter life span than their parents.
OBESE CHILDREN ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE OBESE ADULTS.
They are having a risk of heart problems, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancers, and osteoarthritis. The happy news is all of these bad effects of obesity can be managed with a methodical plan.
Other physical problems
Childhood obesity is the result of a sedentary lifestyle most of the time. If children use glucose and sugar content foods, they may come across type 2 diabetes soon.
Childhood obesity brings you high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. These factors can cause of occurring plaques in arteries. So the arteries will become narrow and harden. that will end up with heart attacks and strokes more frequently.
If your child is overweight, their joints are always under stress due to weight. So you need to be more concerned with their hips and knees in such instances.
Overweight children always suffer from breathing problems such as asthma. Also, they develop obstructive sleep apnea where your child’s breathing repeatedly stops
Fatty liver diseases are very common in obese children. This present without any signs and symptoms. Increased fatty deposits can cause liver damage.
Reasons for obesity in children
1. The range of factors causing childhood obesity. That’s why we call this special medical term we can “obesogenic environment”. The Greater risk of childhood obesity is the obesity of both parents. (family environment and genetics).
2. Secondly we can point out that psychological factors in childhood body type are closely associated with childhood obesity.
3. In the modern world busy parents always try to give energy-dense G foods and fewer energy requirements to their loving kids in everyday life. In addition to that modern children are consuming an increased rate of snacks and portion-size meals. In this high-tech scientific modern world these problems are unstoppable and burden issues in everyday life in modern urbanized people.
4. Kings use electronic items more and more in India’s everyday life causing a limited amount of time dedicated to physical activities. Most parents unknowingly allow their children to have a risk percentile of 17-44% of being overweight.
5. So current law income American, African, and Hispanic communities are getting increase this social burden day by day. Their societies are mostly full of crimes. Most parents keep their children stay inside the home because they fear that gang, drug violence, and other dangers might harm them
Now, can you identify the result of childhood obesity as a result of the interplay between many families ( genetic ) and environmental factors?
Other risk factors for childhood obesity
Diet of the child – if your kid is eating high-calorie foods it is a clear reason of getting obesity in children. These high-calorie foods are fast foods, baked foods, snacks, and other types of candy and sweets.
All these foods are in a high capacity of getting obesity in children. Also don’t allow your children to drink sugary drinks and kind of sports drinks too much if you need to avoid childhood obesity.
Lack of body exercise – Children should have a way of burning calories if they used to consume high-calorie foods. Parents need to minimize sedentary activities such as watching tv and playing video games etc. Additionally, most Tv shows are encouraging unhealthy foods and other behavioral types. So It is advisable for children not to attend to sedentary activities a lot.
Family history of the child – If a child comes from overweight family genetics, he or she is more likely to put on weight.
Stress factors – Parental, family, and personal stresses can cause to child’s risk of obesity. Some children are overweight as a coping mechanism to stress and related emotions in day-to-day life. They always fight against boredom. Their parents and family members also have a similar tendency to stress.
Few socioeconomic factors – such as low income and not having access to a safe place to exercise.
Medications – Drugs containing prednisolone, lithium, paroxetine, gabapentin, etc have an effect on obesity in children. it is advisable to be concerned if you take those for the long term.
Most infants become obese due to instant infant formula. In modern society, an increased number of mothers show a lack of interest in breastfeeding.
Children show a very lack of physical activity. They every time depend on their parents to go to school, and to complete most of the activities of daily living such as washing, brushing, toileting, grooming, feeding, etc. So this is the place where a dependent on children population originated.
The modern family size is decreased. So the children are having easy access to food, snacks and belongings, and luxuries.
Also, family mealtime plays a role in childhood obesity.
Community practices with regard to obesity in children
The schools and the education system play a major role in this. They have the ability to decide the quality of school lunches and their time allocations for physical activity.
Easy access to fast foods.
Some schools have better access to parks, bike paths, and sidewalks. These open spaces allow them to accelerate their physical activities and social and emotional interactions with each other.
The government controls the prices of healthy and unhealthy foods or sugary or oily foods. They should have a mechanism for the accessibility of fresh, healthy, and affordable foods.
Prevention methods for childhood obesity.
Here, schools play a big role. The children spend more time in school. So schools should have the affordability of providing places, equipment, and time, making children’s populations encourage play. Also, they have an administrative procedure to provide healthy nutritious food patterns among the children with parents’ assistance.
As parents, you all know, children are the best observers and imitators in our family and social life. So parents should lead an exemplary lifestyle. Among school children, screening for obesity is recommended in those over 6 years.
Modern child care services comprise a series of institutions such as preschools, nurseries, daycare, and kindergartens and those people should focus on healthy eating and physical activity of the children who take their service. Diet and physical activity play a major role in children’s developmental life.
The above institutions should implement strategies to implement a good healthy lifestyle among children.
1. Diet plays a major role in preventing childhood obesity
Schools should minimize the locations where calory-dense, prepared snacks are available places in school premises and other children’s frequented areas.
Eating snacks and fast foods at restaurants are very common among young people with 75% of 7Th to 12Th-grade students in a given week. They always ask their parents to go to fast-food restaurants on daily basis near schools. This is the main cause of increases in the risk of obesity in children.
2. Physical activity plays a major role in preventing childhood obesity.
Most children are failed in engaging in their daily physical activities. That is a greater risk of obesity.
If you see a child with low physical activity, you can result in an adult with low physical activity.
Modern sedentary activities such as computer usage, playing video games, or watching television can make an environment for kids to stay static and unproductive. Modern technology ruined a big amount of time for physical activities.
Not only these technological activities but also ow income attests the child’s to gain weight.
3. Psychological factors and childhood obesity
Researchers found that stress is influencing with child’s eating habits and depression can cause a child to overeat. Also, there is a positive combination of obesity and low self-esteem.
It can also find a combination of Attention deficit hyperactive disorder ( ADHD ) kids and their obesity. This is a condition of higher levels of energy expenditure, which can consider a protective factor against obesity.
Direct psychological treatment application is more prevalent in the recent past which is a good trend.
Home environment and childhood obesity- Family meals are a major factor in deciding the food choices of a child. Also, children raised by their grandparents are more likely to be obese as adults than those raised by their parents.
Other points for prevention
The main treatment for childhood obesity is non-medical.It is mainly focus on lifestyle modification. That is the main prevention method for this issue.
Actually making healthy eating and adequate physical activities are a good family affair. All family members can benefit from that and nobody will feel singled out.
Parents need to think about the various healthy snack types at home and school for the children. Moms can offer various healthy food options for their kids.
Your kid may not be interested in new food at once. It normally takes multiple exposures for your kid to gain their acceptance. So keep trying.
Give your kids rewards for each and every food habit they practice at home.
In addition to all this, you need to give your kids enough sleep. Much research indicates that little sleep may increase the risk of sleep. Sleep deprivation should be omitted from your kids as soon as possible as it directly caused hormonal imbalances.
How to teach my child healthy eating habits
Healthy eating habits are a lifelong investment for your kids. It can help a healthy lifestyle during adolescent times. But if you are unsure to select the proper food variations for your family, it is better to consult your health care provider. They can offer you proper nutrition counseling. Also, those people guide you in the proper direction of resources to gain healthy food options.
Never apply restrictive diets to your kid in order to lose weight. If any medical reason your health provider may supervise that. Restrictive diets are causing various eating disorders and odd eating patterns.
So start with adding various fruits and vegetables to the diet. You can provide “rainbow” fruits and vegetables with every meal . Avoid sugary drinks
One way to begin teaching healthy eating habits is to serve a variety of fruits and vegetables to your family. Provide a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables with every meal, including snacks. Avoid sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, lemonade, and sports drinks.
The average child takes in more than 120 calories per day from sugary drinks
Follow these other approaches
Start to teach your kids about healthy food varieties from your home. The moms can always accompany their kids in shopping and preparing meals. these activities can help to identify the child’s food preferences a lot. You can teach them about nutrition during this time. Also, children are fond of eating foods that they repair at home.
Your child should eat slowly. Then they can detect their hunger and fullness.
Take the meals together as a family with your kids. Parents can create a pleasant environment through this. Kids can share and engage the family conversations during this time. Family members never try to do anything which causes an unpleasant attitude in the child’s mind. If not they come across with eating stress.
Mos needs to plan snacks at specific times during the day. Snacks also can be a part of a healthy diet. The snacks should be nutritious too.
Parents should discourage meals in front of the tv. it needs a separate place. your child may not deviate their attention while eating. You can reward the kid’s good eating habits. But never use another food item to reward it. Then your kid may think rewarding food is better than the other.
You need to monitor the child’s meals outside the home.At schools and other places they need to have a balanced diet.
Your health care provider can do a good job in dealing with childhood obesity.
A health care provider can plan a formal treatment program. Your kid’s weight control program is a planned procedure and it includes various health care professionals such as
- family physicians
- Nurse practitioners
These professionals do a pre-medical evaluation on the basis of the child’s weight and growth before enrolment. they will track weight, height, growth, and health at regular intervals.
A good weight control plan for your kid is applicable to the whole family including your child. So the changes apply to the whole family. These weight control programs differ for each age category. You need to specially point out the behavioral changes of the children while application time.
Childhood obesity is a complex disease. if you neglect that, it can cause lifelong complications. You need to support your kid no matter their weight. You need to implement an awareness program for your kid by explaining what you want them to stay healthy.
If you can address the causes of childhood obesity with society focused approach, then we can find an effective solution to this problem. There are a few crucial components of childhood obesity. A combined diet and gross motor physical activity intervention within the school environment are more effective in preventing overweight in kids.
The home environment for the kids is the other key factor providing them & with healthy eating, exercise, and meeting opportunities for the right nutritional choices can implement properly. There is the biggest influence on the school environment for kids for their food choices and selection.
Diet, exercises, and environments both home and schools are the major concerned areas in decreasing childhood obesity and that leads our children to live a healthier life in their present social background.
In united states childhood obsity is a serious issue. So the children need proper education awareness and support regarding the diet they take. The adults of the children have to play a major role in this issue. They can support their kids by offering healthier diet and opportunity for plenty of exercise.