obesity in children

obesity in children

April 16, 2024
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With the spread of unhealthy lifestyles and unbalanced nutrition, obesity in children has become an increasing health problem, as obesity causes serious health risks in the growing years and may affect their quality of life in the future and in this article, we will explore the reasons for the prevalence of obesity among children, its health effects, as well as effective measures for prevention and treatment.

What is obesity in children?

Obesity in children is a condition of excessive weight gain that leads to an abnormal accumulation of fat in the child’s body and an increase in the percentage of body fat to a rate that negatively affects health, as obesity in children is usually diagnosed by the body mass index (BMI), which is based on weight, height and age.

Obesity is a public health concern, as it can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems, as obesity also affects the psychological and social effects of children, as they may be exposed to bullying and social isolation due to excess weight and it is necessary to follow a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a balanced diet and practicing regular physical activity, to prevent and treat obesity in children.

What are the causes of obesity in children

There are several reasons that may lead to obesity in children, including:

Unhealthy lifestyle: Eating excessively high-calorie foods such as fast food, soft drinks, and sweets, along with a lack of exercise, can lead to weight gain

Genetic factors: Obesity in children may be the result of genetics, as genetic factors play a role in determining the body’s tendency to store fat.

Psychological factors: Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression may lead to increased food intake in children, leading to weight gain.

Lack of physical activity: Lack of physical activity and sitting for long periods in front of screens (TV, computer, smartphones) can increase the risk of obesity in children.

Environment and poor eating habits: Environmental factors such as huge advertisements for unhealthy foods and less availability of healthy food options may contribute to children’s increased tendency to eat unhealthy foods.

 

Complications resulting from childhood obesity

Cardiovascular disease: Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.

Type 2 diabetes: Obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in children.

Sleep breathing disorders: Obesity can lead to sleep apnea (asphyxia), affecting the child’s sleep and overall health.

Digestive problems: Obesity may cause digestive problems such as esophageal reflux and constipation.

Psychological diseases: Obesity can affect the psychological state and mental health of children, such as depression, lack of self-confidence, and bullying.

Bone and joint problems: Obesity can increase the risk of developing bone and joint problems, leading to problems such as joint pain and bone infections.

Treatment of obesity in children

Follow a healthy eating diet: This includes increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and reducing the consumption of foods rich in fats, sugars, and soft drinks, in addition to eating small meals on a regular basis.

Increase physical activity: This includes walking, exercising, and fun physical activities that help burn calories and enhance physical fitness.

Nutritional guidance and health education: Doctors and specialists can guide the family and provide the correct information about a healthy diet and the importance of physical activity.

Regular medical follow-up: Children with adult obesity should see their doctor regularly to monitor progress and adjust treatment and nutritional guidelines.

Psychological and social support: Psychological and social support can play a major role in helping children overcome the problem of obesity and motivating them to develop healthy habits.

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