When Weight Matters: Watch Out for Obesity in Children
There is a growing incidence of obesity among adults worldwide. In fact, the number of obese and overweight adults has doubled since the 1980s. Would this mean that obesity is only prevalent among people ages 18 and above? Studies show that children are equally prone to obesity — and this may include your child.
In 2014, the World Health Organization recorded about two billion overweight adults where 600 million of them fall under obese. Nonetheless, the WHO added that more than 42 million children under five years old are either obese or overweight, which raises healthcare concerns around the world.
The rate of childhood obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has increased in the past 30 years. A serious medical condition, childhood obesity occurs when a child is well above the normal weight based on his or her body mass index.
Some healthcare providers are starting to fret that this condition among young children may result in life threatening health conditions that were once confined to adults, including different signs of heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. This may also result in different psychological effects such as poor self esteem and depression.
For concerned parents, there is a need to understand how a child becomes obese or overweight. Overweight and obesity may be a result of “caloric imbalance”, which includes various genetic, environmental and behavioural factors. Improper diet and lack of exercise may also trigger obesity.
Whilst there are no signs or symptoms of knowing whether your child is obese, consult a paediatrician to know the best steps to take in preventing this condition. It is your responsibility as a parent to oversee the overall wellbeing of your child.