In the US, the rate of Childhood obesity has been on a high rise over the past decades, and today. The United States is known to have some of the most cases of obesity in a child’s life. Obesity in children has more than doubled over the past few decades. It has been documented that one out of six children are obese and in the same case, one out of three children are either overweight or obese. Obesity is known as the event of having an excessively high amount of body fat or adipose tissue in relation to body mass.
Individuals with a Body Mass Index of 30 or more are said to be obese because BMI is a common measure of expressing the relationship of weight-to-height. Obesity is mostly caused by the following factors: dietary habits, physical inactivity, and depression along with other emotional problems.
The major cause of obesity in children and adolescence is eating too much and having limited exercise.
However, this is not always apparent because some cases of obesity are caused by genetic factors. If your child has was born form a family of members who are overweight, then the child is at high risk to end up being obese. Although one of the main causes of obesity in children are the child’s dietary habits. In todays generation, children tend to prefer consuming fast food meals, junk foods and drinks that are high in sugar rather than eating healthy and hearty meals. These kinds of food tend to be high in fat and calories and low in other nutrients that cause children to gain extra weight.
Some patterns and behaviors of children such as eating when not hungry, watching T.V or doing homework while eating are the children that are associated with obesity.
Another reason behind obesity in children is their physical inactivity. Children today are slowly translating to a very sedentary lifestyle due to the increasing popularity of T.V watching, computer browsing as well as playing video games. Children spend more time in watching T.V, which encourages more snacking than engaging in regular physical exercise. There are limited Physical Education classes in school nowadays and busy parents, who fear about their children’s safety, hinder their children from participating in school activities and engage in sports. A major cause of obesity in children is depression along with other emotional problems. Depression can make a person eat to ease the pain they are feeling. It can also cause a person to stay indoors and refrain from engaging in physical sports or even converse with other individuals. People with emotional problems tend to be pressured by their friends, family or other external forces. This limits a person’s capabilities and mood and can cause them to shut their self-off from the world and eat even more.
Due to these causes’ dietary habits, physical inactivity and depression along with other emotional problems occurrence of obesity in children is greatly increasing. On another note, there are ways to manage obesity in children. Parents of children at risk can start a weight-management program, and change eating habits such as eating slower or developing a routine of consumption. Parents can also plain meals and make better food selection, control portions and make children consume less calories. They can also encourage children to increase their physical activity by walking or engaging in sports. Parents could take their kid to a park or even go walking with them up and down the street, let them ride their bike, let them jump on the trampoline. These are just some ways to manage obesity; however, constant practice of these simple ways can prevent children from being part of the population of obese citizens.
Obesity in childhood has both the instant and long-term effects on the health of a child. Some immediate effects are the obese children may develop pre-diabetes. Obese children and adolescence are also at a higher risk of having joints and bones complications, sleep apnea as well as some psychosocial problems like low self-esteem, stigmatization, and depression.
The long-term effects on the health of these obese children is that they are most likely be obese when they are grown and this causes them more risk for further heart diseases, some cancer types, strokes or osteoarthritis. The other long-term effect is that obesity and overweight is usually associated with more risks for different types of cancer like breast cancer, gall bladder, colon, kidney, ovary, prostrate or cervix cancer. Also, the other diseases are lymphoma of Hodgkin and multiple myeloma. To prevent the occurrence of obesity diseases, children should learn to practice a healthy lifestyle and habits which will help to lower their risk of becoming obese and having other related diseases. This includes eating healthy and engaging in physical activities. In the United States, schools can establish a secure and supportive environment that has policies and other practices to support the healthy behaviors.
The health of a child will mostly depend on the raising of the child and the healthy eating habits and if the child is active enough. Parents must therefore develop a strategy to make sure their children are active enough. Schools in the United Sates should also be expected to create awareness and education on how to prevent obesity.