Child obesity is an important subject when dealing with child development and teaching. According to the Center For Disease Control, the number of children age 6-11 in the United States who were obese more than doubled from 1980 to 2012. Also Children age 12-19 who were obese during the same time period almost tripled.
Where as overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a specific height. This weight can consist of fat, bone, muscle, water, or any combination of these. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. Obesity is caused by a caloric imbalance. Meaning more calories are being taken in than is being burned by the body.
What Are The Health Effects Of Child Obesity?
The effects of child obesity are both short and long term in the health of your child. In the short term child obesity can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can also lead to the development of diabetes. In the short term child obesity can also lead to bone and joint pain and problems. Sleep apnea along with physiological and social developmental problems are also short term problems.
The long term problems for child obesity are just as troubling. Children who are obese are much more likely to be obese as adults. This opens them up to adult diseases like type 2 diabetes, several forms of cancer, stroke, and heart attacks. Studies have shown that children who were obese as early as 2 years of age were likely to be obese adults.
Child obesity has been linked to cancers like colon, breast, pancreas, gall bladder, endometrium, esophagus, liver, and many others.
Child Obesity Prevention
Developing healthy lifestyle habits like lots of physical activity and healthy eating is a good place to start. The earlier a child is taught healthy eating habits, the more likely they will stick to those habits later on. Likewise if a child is taught and allowed to be active at an early age, they are more likely to stick to it as adults.
The physical and dietary activities of a child are influenced by many different factors. This means it is vitally important for parents to model the correct behavior in themselves for their children to see. Studies have shown that parents should take an active part in their child’s health by modeling it in their own lives. By doing so they are more successful in training their children to be healthy as well.
Child obesity is one of those problems that is highly preventable. With a little effort and discipline, this disease doesn’t have to be a part of your child’s life.