Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Believe it or not, but it has actually more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past thirty years. Almost 35% of children and adolescents were classified as overweight or obese in 2012 (Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM., 2011-2012).
Being overweight can clearly be defined as having excess body weight for a particular height derived from fat, bone, muscle, water, or any other combination of these various factors. This differs with obesity which can be defined as having excess amounts of body fat. While they are different, they are both a result of having a caloric imbalance that is directly related to and even caused by a expending too few calories for the amount of calories that are consumed throughout each day.
What Are The Immediate Health Effects Of Obesity?
Cardiovascular Disease. Children that are also obese have a much higher risk factor when it comes to suffering from cardiovascular disease and dealing with the issues that come with it including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Pre-diabetes. Another immediate health effect that obesity can have on our children is predisposing them to the onset of pre-diabetes which is a condition that can indicate a much higher risk for the actual development of diabetes.
Sleep Problems. Children that suffer from obesity are much more likely to suffer from all kinds of sleep problems such as sleep apnea which can have a negative impact on a child’s body as sleep is literally one of the most important things that affects childhood health.
What are The Long Term Health Effects?
More Likely To Remain Obese. Those who are obese as children are much more likely to remain obese as an adult. This means that they are going to also be higher at risk of suffering from adult related obesity problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even various types of cancer.
How to Prevent Obesity
Lifestyle Changes. The number one way to prevent obesity from affecting kids is by changing lifestyle habits. Bad lifestyle habits can directly cause obesity and overall weight gain. These lifestyle habits include being more physically active and eating a lot healthier. The nutrition of a lot of kids that suffer from obesity is simply unacceptable and in order for their results to progress, change needs to occur with their diet and nutrition first. To see some healthy recipes for children check out Kidnetic.
Better Education. Another big aspect that can help to prevent obesity is having better overall education when it comes to physical exercise and diet and how they both relate to physical wellbeing. Being sedentary and watching too much TV also has been linked to childhood obesity.
By educating our children more on the importance of eating healthily and being more psychically proactive, it could make a huge dent in the obesity numbers prevalent and growing year by year.
About The Author
Amanda Kamdarha has an avid interest in medical research and has published several pieces of literature about the latest treatments to counteract degenerative diseases. In her spare time she runs her personal blog and raises 5 beautiful kids.
 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Journal of the American Medical Association 2014;311(8):806-814.