Childhood Obesity And Problems

Childhood obesity is a very serious condition that is prevalent globally. A child is considered obese when their BMI (body mass index) is higher than 95% of their peers. This condition can also be presumed a misnomer; children who are obese have very high chances of being obese adults as well. Hence, their obesity becomes a perpetual state, regardless of their age.

Children who are obese suffer from this condition on account of several factors. Mother’s diet and genetics play a pivotal role in determining this fate. Moreover, a lot of the fault is also shouldered by the parents, who subject their child to this state.

Parents decide what the child will be eating; if they are going to stuff their child with junk, fried and processed food, they are doing a grave injustice to the child. In some cultures, children tend to live with grandparents and other relatives as well, who think feeding packaged things like cookies and crisps is their way of treating the child and making them happy.

Hence, this access to fat and energy rich foods with little nutrient content, lack of portion control and catering to the child’s whim for the junk food all promotes childhood obesity. It is therefore vital for new parents to talk with the child specialist in Lahore and learn the importance of nutrition in their child.

Causes:

Eating alone is not the cause of obesity. When calories consumed are way more than the calories burnt, body stores the surplus in the form of fat.

Lack of physical activity thus also has a crucial role to play in childhood obesity. It is compounded by the prevalence of technology. Video games, television, phones and tablets have all contributed to a sedentary lifestyle in children.

Moreover, energy-dense foods have also gained prevalence. Unhealthy lunch choices like cookies, cake, processed meat like nuggets, fried food is gaining acceptance by the parents, who either are ignorant or simply glad that their picky eater of a child is at least eating something.

Some children who battle with psychological issues also use food as a form of comfort and solace. Depression, boredom and stress act as precursors for binge eating.

But that is not all; childhood obesity is a complex problem that also has deep social and economic roots. When nations are not committed to promoting awareness about nutrition in children, when parents are influenced by the campaigns promoting these poor dietary habits, when law fails to regulate the production standards, problems like childhood obesity are bound to occur.

Risks:

Obesity is a harbinger of diseases. Children who are obese have the risk of:

Diabetes

Diabetes occurs due to body’s inability to process glucose, due to which the sugar runs amok in the blood, leading to all sorts of complications. Alongside causing nerve and kidney damage, diabetes also affects heart, eyes and skin. Obese children have very high probability of becoming a diabetic.

Heart disease

Poor dietary choices and excess weight puts so much strain on the heart. Obese children are very likely to suffer from cholesterol issues and hypertension when they grow up.

Asthma

Even though the precise connection between obesity and asthma is yet to be understood, but children who are obese also tend to have asthma.

Sleep problems

Obesity causes sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnea. Lack of quality sleep makes them more prone to obesity and other illnesses. It also has a grave impact on their performance in school.

Psychological problems:

Obese children are more likely to be bullied by their peers. As they are ostracized, it is hard for them to have friends or any form of support. Even some family members tend to crack jokes at their expense.

Not only the ridicule, but other factors also add on to their inadequacy. Not being able to find their size in the store, not being able to play in the park as the rides cannot sustain their weight, fun activates like getting piggyback rides are not possible for them, further aggravating their plight.

Hence, most obese children suffer from self-esteem issues and poor mental health.

Joint issues:

Joints suffer due to the excess weight on them. It results in joints becoming stiff, pain in them and also affects their range of motion.

Remedying the problem:

Childhood obesity is an all hands on the deck kind of situation. Parents have to do anything and everything to save their child. It is important to make lifestyle choices, remarked by healthy eating and physical activity.

Cutting on screen time, heeding to child’s mental health and participating in your child’s wellness journey to encourage them are some of the helpful tips. You can also talk to your Child specialist in Karachi for a personalized care plan to help you child get better.

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