Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child's health or well being. Excess body fat is the percentage of a person's body that is not composed of water, muscle, bone, and vital organs. It can lead to obesity sometimes.
Obesity is often diagnosed based on the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a techniques used for estimating human body fat based on an individual’s weight and height compared to the standard values.
Causes of Obesity in children
Childhood Obesity can be caused by a combination of factors. One being the obesity of both parents which can be evident from family’s environment and genetics. Although there are some genetic and hormonal causes of childhood obesity, most of the time it is caused by kids eating too much and exercising too little. Assessing obesity in children can be difficult, because children can grow in unpredictable spurts.
Obesity increases the risk of the following diseases in kids
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Early heart disease
- Bone problems
- Skin conditions such as heat rash, fungal infections, and acne
Ways to prevent and help Obesity in kids
- First, talking to children about their weight, gaining their confidence by being supportive, allowing them to share their concern.
- Second, changing the family’s physical activity and eating habits by involving everyone in these habits so that the overweight child does not feel singled out. Planning activities that provide everyone with exercise like walking, biking or swimming. It should be fun for all and not be viewed as a chore.
- Third making an effort to reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing video games.
In the US, the Dept. of Agriculture provides nutriotion guidelines with "MyPlate", a plate divided into 30 percent grains, 30 percent vegetables, 20 percent fruits and 20 percent protein and a smaller circle representing dairy. Eating nutritious food and exercising is the key to a healthier lifestyle.
For decades, childhood obesity rates have been on the rise. Now some U.S. cities, e.g. Philadelphia (4.7% drop), New York City (5.5% drop) and Los Angeles (3% drop), have shown a decline in obesity rates. Declining childhood obesity rates have also been reported in parts of Mississippi, the state with the highest obesity rate in the nation.
Diagnosed: Identify the nature of the medical condition of (someone).
Genetic: Of or relating to genes or heredity.
Hormonal: Hormones are chemical substances that act like messenger molecules in the body. of or relating to or caused by hormones; "hormonal changes".
Overweight: Excessive or extra weight.
Chore: A routine task, esp. a household one.
Sedentary: (of a person) Tending to spend much time seated; somewhat inactive.
Written by Ekta Kapur