Childhood obesity can cause complexities for your child’s physical, social and emotional well-being. In the United States, at least one child out of five is overweight, and the number of overweight children continues to grow. Overweight or obese children are 5 times more prone to become overweight adults than normal-weight children.
Overweight adults are at high risk of developing a number of health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure stroke, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. Due to this reason, child obesity is considered the most widespread nutritional disorder of US children and adolescents, and one of the most common issues encountered by pediatricians.
Risk Factors for Childhood Obesity
Your child can become overweight due to a number of reasons. The most common causes are genetic factors, unhealthy eating patterns, lack of physical activity, or a combination of these factors. In rare cases, a medical problem, such as an endocrine disorder, may cause your child to become overweight.
Research has linked severe childhood obesity to some rare gene disorders. Some children can easily become overweight than others due to an inherited component in their genes.
Consuming high-calorie foods such as sugary drinks and including fruit juices on a regular basis can easily lead your child to gain weight.
Children gain weight when they lack required physical activity and if they have greater tendency for sedentary activtiies.
Your family’s feeding patterns can have a great influence on whether your child observes a healthy weight practice.
Your child’s chance of obesity may be increased by personal, parental and family stress because some children overeat to deal with issues or their emotions, or to fight boredom.
Due to limited resources and restricted access to supermarkets, people in certain communities may opt for convenience foods such as frozen meals, crackers and cookie that don’t spoil quickly.
Measurement of Childhood Obesity
A story published in scarymommy.com, mentions about a new research which could make how we talk to our kids about their weight, more complicated. More importantly, these findings apply to all kids, whether they are overweight or not.
A doctor is the right person to ascertain whether your child has overweight problem or not. Physicians will evaluate your child’s weight and height to determine if your child’s weight is within a healthy range. A physician will also look at your child’s age and growth patterns to determine whether your child is overweight according to the following technique:
- Childhood obesity is known by measuring the Body Mass Index or BMI.
- The calculated BMI can then be utilized to ascertain if a child is overweight or not, by comparing the results with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) growth charts, for children of the same age and sex.
- Children having a BMI at or greater than 95%, are considered overweight.
- Children with a BMI that ranges between the 85%-95% are categorized as being at risk for overweight.
Assessing obesity in children is hard because children grow in uncertain mode. For example, it is normal for boys to have a growth spurt in weight and catch up in height later. It is best to let your pediatrician find out whether your child will “grow into” a normal weight. If your doctor notices that your child is overweight, he or she may ask you to alter your family’s eating and activity habits.
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.