Childhood Obesity: What is the Weight of the Problem Today?

child obesityObesity is measured through a body mass index formula commonly abbreviated as BMI using weight and height as two main factors. However, the BMI is standardized among adults and is complex to measure the same among children. Risk factors of overweight among children include age, puberty, gender, ethnicity and race. Genetic make-up and medical conditions such as abnormal hormonal balance are associated are also a common mention among factors these factors. Constantly changing lifestyle is increasing the prevalence of childhood obesity. The prevalence of childhood obesity arises as children grow up. Reception years always have childhood obesity at 1% and the prevalence increases to 5% when the same child population reaches fifth grade.

General Risk Factors of Childhood Obesity

There are wide varieties of risk factors that cause obesity among children. Nutritionists hold that obesity is caused by taking more energy than expected. The risk factor for increasing obesity among children is changing lifestyle that relies heavily on junk foods.Compromised healthy living standards such as eating patterns and lack of level physical activities contribute to high level risk factors for childhood obesity. A diet too rich in sugar and fat, deficiency fibre, too much carbohydrate and lacking exercise to burn these calories is attributed to being simple but neglected factors that cause overweight health challenge. Also, fast foods are a risk factor of developing obesity. Increasing activities due to an unstable economy, the need for people to save time to work more hours, lack of time to attend to children and the general marketing lure of fast food advertisement has all led to increased overweight among risk population.

Modern technology is also a chronic problem that has exacerbated the obesity epidemic among children. Computer games and too much television watching are often mentioned as the main influence that cause lack of physical activity among the young population.

Childhood Obesity Consequences

Most common consequences associated with childhood obesity include a range of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers, back pain, stigmatization, prejudice and discrimination. Overweight in children is associated with low self-image, low self-confidence, and depression. Therefore, socio-psychological challenges associated with obesity are justified. Patients already understand their high risk of developing chronic disease conditions. The complication of obesity is that patients live with irreversible health problems before they think of working to reduce weight. Also, before these chronic diseases are discovered, they already have caused irreversible health damage that sometimes leads to the economic consequences of spending too much money in medical treatment. Childhood obesity has no benefit and is a health and economic burden among patients and close family members.

Preventing Childhood Obesity

Preventing childhood obesity universally rests on managing diet and increasing physical activities among the risk and vulnerable populations. However, public health education remains the main and most effective preventive overweight strategy. Information about healthy living is affordable, risk free and effective, but only to those who have cultivated patience. The general population needs to develop good will to concentrate on balanced diet investment. Parents should be responsible for their children’s eating habits. Nowadays, it is common to find overweight group therapies among communities. Group therapies act as motivation platforms to acquire discipline and inspiration on maintaining weight as well as leading a healthy lifestyle.