Obesity in Children
Obesity in children has risen exponentially over the last decade or so with the innovations made in the field of technology. This is not only in developed countries like the United States but also in developing countries like India, Middle East, and South East Asia. A child who is overweight to such an extent that the child can be called obese can have drastic affect on the overall health and well being of the child both physically and psychologically. In majority of the cases, an obese child will stay obese late into adulthood which will be a virtual invitation for various medical conditions at an early age.
It is not clearly understood as to why a child becomes overweight or obese. Studies suggest that a child who parents are obese is more likely to be obese suggesting a genetic link but this only plays a small role in development of obesity in children. This combined with the sedentary lifestyle and junk diet all combined together makes a child overweight and obese.
There is also evidence to suggest that excessive intake of soft drinks, increased intake of fat foods like pizzas and burgers also play a role in the development of obesity in children across the globe. This article throws some light on the various adverse affects that obesity can have on a child.
How Does Obesity Affect The Health Of A Child?
Some of the adverse effects that obesity can have on the overall health of a child include:
Hypertension and Hypercholesterolemia: This is the most common affect that obesity has on a child. An obese child is at risk for developing hypertension and hypercholesterolemia at a very young age which increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases as the child grows into adulthood.
Diabetes: An obese child is twice as much at risk for developing glucose intolerance and insulin resistance resulting in onset of diabetes at a very young age.
Sleep Problems: Obesity in children also causes problems with normal breathing. This is the reason why obese children tend to present to their physicians complaining of symptoms classic for asthma or sleep apnea.
Musculoskeletal Conditions: An obese child will put extra pressure on the lower extremities especially the knees which bears the complete weight of the body. This will result in the knees wearing down early and by the time the child reaches 30 years of age arthritis of the knee joints may step in.
Anxiety and Depression: Apart from affecting a child physically, obesity also affects the child psychologically. An obese child may go into depression as a result of the weight and being an object of ridicule by fellow peers. This may also affect the overall confidence of the child and affect the quality of life of the child with Obesity.