Children obesity is a major social problem and there are multiple causes of obesity in children. It is a major reason of concern among all ages. Latest studies reveal that children between 6-12 years age are more vulnerable to obesity. Obesity in Children leads to several health problems.
Term BMI (Body Mass Index) is used to determine whether a person is overweight or obese. This is the ratio between a person’s weight to height respective to their age or gender. A person who is overweight has BMI value between 25.0-29.0 and person with BMI value over 30.0 is obese. This index is not applicable in the case of children below two.
Causes of Obesity in Children
- The major reason behind obesity in childhood is high calories inappropriate diet. In modern-day life, there is a trend of fast foods in homes as well as outside. These foods are unhealthy and contain a high amount of saturated fats. Children like these foods and even parents encourage children to eat these quickly available foods. Children spend most of their time in front of computers playing games or watching TV. This leads to a reduction in physical activity. Lack of physical activities and increased consumption of the unhealthy food leads to deposition of fats under the skin. This leads to childhood obesity.
- Among major causes of obesity in children, eating in front of a TV screen is a major one. Children develop the habit of eating while they are watching TV. This leads to excessive consumption or overeating of food without getting into their own notice. These extra calories consumed leads to obesity. Busy classes and limited athletic activities in the school contribute to childhood obesity. Other than eating habits, “child obesity” can be hereditary. Parents who are obese are more likely to have obese children. Studies show that if one of the parents is suffering from obesity, then there are three times greater chances of the child being obese. If both the parents are obese, then there are 10 times greater chances of the child being obese.
- Some medical conditions may also be responsible for a person being overweight. Some medicines affect the hormonal changes in the body that dramatically increase body weight. Diseases like Thyroid, tumors, polycystic ovary disease and mental retardation are also causes of obesity in children up to some extent.
Effects of Obesity in Children
There are many consequences or side effects of obesity. Broadly we can classify them into Physical, economic and mental consequences.
- Every child reacts differently to their emotions. Some children tend to eat more when they are stressed in an attempt to deal with their mental situation. These psychological factors are also responsible for childhood obesity up to a certain point.
- Obese person is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This happens due to organ resistance to insulin. Females suffering from obesity may face menstrual irregularities. Overweight or obesity may lead to infertility to infertility among females.
- Obesity can lead to heart attack and stroke. This happens due to the narrowing of arteries due to deposition of fat inside the arteries. This puts extra pressure on the heart, which may lead to a heart attack.
- Obesity may lead to a problem called sleep arena. Obese children may face the problem of irregular sleep overnight due to irregular breathing or stopping breathing during sleeping for a small time interval. This happens due to the squeezing of the lungs due to the weight of the fats deposited on the walls of the chest. This leads to irregular sleep as well as a snoring problem among obese kids.
- Obesity leads to problems like joint pain or orthopedic issues like bowed legs. These problems increase with the increase in age.
- Obesity in children not only hurts you physically, but it also hurts you economically. Obese people are more prone to diseases, so they visit doctors and medical offices more frequently raising your medical expenditures.
- Obese children usually face the taunts from their classmates. This leads to a lowering of self-esteem among them. Due to their physical appearance, they sometimes face problems in doing some physical activities, which further leads to the lowering of their self-confidence.
- Depression is another consequence of obesity in children. Some people use to eat more in this particular mental state.
At last, all the parents can keep their children away from obesity by keeping the above-mentioned causes of childhood obesity in mind.