Childhood is the process everyone grows through before they grow up. In childhood, you study, grow up, and go through the phases of adulthood. Whether it be the dreaded high school acne or the sudden change in voice, your childhood determines your adult life.
Thus, when someone does not take care of their food intake during their childhood, not only do they introduce themselves to the world of childhood obesity but also various resilient illnesses that persist till death.
Obesity in adulthood is dangerous as it is, but childhood obesity is even worse. On top of that, the childhood obesity rate has been increasing in the USA, in a study conducted in 2017-2020.
19.7 percent of children and adolescents are affected by childhood obesity, about 14 million children. Amongst 2-5 years old, obesity was a whopping 12.7 percent, with 20.7 percent and 22.2 percent prevalence in 6-11 years old and 12-19 years old, respectively.
These numbers are high and bode for a terrible future for the country. As mentioned before, it may seem harmless during adolescence, but obesity can provide a one-track path to other health complications that can seriously hamper your mortality range. From high blood pressure to high cholesterol and worse, through turning a blind eye to obesity, you involuntary serve a death sentence to your children.
How to Identify Obesity in Your Children
Although it is a relatively simple question to answer as you may think that all children with muscly complexions are overweight, that is not the case. Some children have bigger or sturdier body frames than others which people regularly confuse with excessive fat. Besides different body shapes, weight gain is different in every stage of an adolescent’s youth cycle.
Through the universally excepted BMI calculator, which accounts for height as well as weight, you can find out if your child is suffering from obesity or not. BMI can be utilized without professional guidance; however, you can even go to a doctor who can determine whether your child is suffering from obesity or not. Through BMI, growth charts, or other tests, they will be able to determine whether your child has obesity or not conclusively.
Childhood obesity is mainly caused due to inactivity rather than over-consumption of food. When children eat their meals regularly but don’t use all those saved-up calories for physical productivity, obesity can occur. Over-consumption of calories is another reason for focusing on small treats with very high calories. Childhood obesity is also prone if your family has a history of obesity. Hormonal factors such as hormonal imbalance can also lead to childhood obesity. Stress can also contribute to childhood obesity as children are prone to binge eating to distract themselves or cope with stress. Certain medications (mostly anti-depressants) are also prone to increasing the risk of developing obesity, i.e., Paxil (Paroxetine).
How to Prevent your Child from Developing Obesity
Be a good example for your children and eat healthy with discretion. When giving your children snacks, choose healthier options such as low-fat yogurt, air-popped popcorn, etc. Bring a variety of healthy food options to your children, they might not like it at first, but they will get used to it.
Besides regulating foods, try not to give fat-inducing snacks like candies even as a reward. Lastly, manage your children’s sleeping schedule. Some studies indicate that lack of proper sleep can also increase your child’s risk of obesity as sleep deprivation leads to hormonal imbalance. As indicated above, hormonal imbalances are a prime cause of obesity.
Authors at Mayo Clinic, Childhood Obesity, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/childhood-obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20354827