Is Childhood Obesity A Progressive Disease & Alternative Treatments For It?

More and more children are getting overweight in recent times, mostly because they consume more energy (calories) than their bodies can burn. A lot of exercises and a balanced diet can be an ideal solution to this issue and prevent secondary diseases related to excess weight.

Is Childhood Obesity A Progressive Disease?

The main causes of obesity in children are basically the same as in adults – improper diet and lack of exercise. In addition, genetic factors can also play a role. Childhood obesity can be a progressive disease if left untreated or uncared for. With time it will become more difficult to attain normal weight and the consequences of the related diseases will be more prominent. Try to assess your child’s weight early by your doctor if you feel that your child is having extra pounds.(3)

Improper Nutrition And Constant Snacking: Processed products such as frozen pizza, french fries, sweetened breakfast cereals, soft drinks, sweet teas, snacks, sweets, meat, sausages – the main dishes of many adolescents contain a lot of fat and sugar. In the long run, fat deposits grow in their bodies.

Food advertising in magazines, television, radio or social media networks such as also encourages people to eat more junk foods. Children get tempted to try these non-nutritious foods from early life. The sight of colorful sweets and crispy chocolate cereals are too tempting for them.

Minors let their parents influence their eating behavior. If they sit in front of the TV with the chip bag every evening, the youngsters will soon imitate them.

Lack Of Exercise: Instead of in the garden and on the playground, more and more children and teenagers are spending their free time in front of the television and computers. School sports, which are often canceled, also helps adolescents sit more instead of moving.

Genetic Makeup: So far, no single “overweight gene” has been found, and there may be a large number of genes that make it easier for people to become overweight under certain conditions.

The genes, however, only comes into play when there is a lack of exercise and poor nutrition.

Alternative Treatment For Childhood Obesity

Having nutritious foods, avoiding bad calories, and having regular exercise is the primary solution to obesity. Alternative treatments include weight reducing natural formulations. There are different herbal supplements and eating habits that can control childhood obesity. These include honey, lemon, pineapple, turmeric, strawberry, etc. Using these ingredients (not in combination) in the morning with warm water in an empty stomach gives good results. But, everything depends on whether your child is having a healthy lifestyle and conducting enough physical activities.(2)(5)(6)

Child obesity has increased since the 1980s. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is recommended for a reliable assessment of whether a child is actually overweight or just a little “chubby”. It indicates the ratio of body weight to height. To do this, the weight (in kilograms) is divided by the square of the height (in meters). After comparison with a reference table, the result shows whether someone is under, normal, overweight or even obese. It is based on gender and age as well.

However, BMI does not consider race or ethnicity of the individual, which is an important player in determining the right weight of an individual.(1)

Correct Calculation Of Obesity In Children

To take into account different factors in childhood obesity and the rapid change in their developmental phases, so-called percentile curves (percentiles = hundredths) were also used to determine their BMI.

  • Overweight: BMI percentiles> 90 to 97
  • Obesity: BMI percentiles> 97 to 99.5
  • extreme obesity: BMI percentiles> 99.5(2)

Childhood obesity can cause problems in many ways:

Overweight and obese children tire faster and are less resilient, for example during sports.

Obese children can experience breathing interruptions (sleep apnea) during sleep, which lasts for several seconds and briefly reduce the oxygen content in the blood. The child does not notice this phase but often has to deal with the consequences during the day – such as tiredness, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

The excess weight weighs heavily on the developing skeletal system, on the spine and the joints. This can cause low back pain, knee and foot problems and, in the long run, lead to premature signs of bone wear.

Obesity and overweight can lead to developmental disorders in girls. They come to puberty earlier, often suffer from increased hair growth and period disorders. This is probably due to hormones produced by the adipose tissue.

Obese children usually sweat profusely and it also affects the child psychologically. Inferiority complexes are not uncommon. It becomes even more stressful for the children if they are marginalized or mocked because of their weight.(4)

References:

  1. Freemark MS. Pediatric obesity: Etiology, pathogenesis and treatment. Springer; 2018.
  2. Wadden TA, Bray GA. Handbook of obesity treatment. Guilford Publications; 2018.
  3. Gurnani M, Birken C, Hamilton J. Childhood obesity: causes, consequences, and management. Pediatric Clinics. 2015;62(4):821-840.
  4. Sahoo K, Sahoo B, Choudhury AK, Sofi NY, Kumar R, Bhadoria AS. Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. Journal of family medicine and primary care. 2015;4(2):187.
  5. Simmonds M, Llewellyn A, Owen C, Woolacott N. Predicting adult obesity from childhood obesity: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Obesity reviews. 2016;17(2):95-107.
  6. Babar RP, Gund S, Nandgaonkar J, Gujarathi R. Childhood Overweight Causative Factors: An Ayurvedic Approach. International Journal of Innovative Knowledge Concepts. 2018;6(11):251-255.

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