Childhood Obesity

The course will give an idea about childhood obesity facts, causes, health complications and solutions to overcome.

Introduction

Overview

  • Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents.
  • Children who are obese are above the normal weight for their age and height.
  • By 2025, India will have over 17 million obese children.
  • Will stand second among 184 countries where the number of obese children are concerned, says a study published in Pediatric Obesity, an international journal

Ignored Facts

Theory Behind

  • The fat cell theory is one of the mechanisms that explain obesity in children due to overfeeding in early years of life.
  • The fat cells are distributed throughout the body.
  • The size of fat cells gradually increases if the energy balance is positive.
  • If the energy or caloric intake continues to be high, cell number begins to increase.
  • Once fat cells increase their number seems to be fixed and they cannot be lost even if weight is lost.
  • If maximum fat cell size is attained by infants at one year of age and then additional fat is deposited by increasing the fat cell number, the chronically overfed child develops an excess number of fat cells.
  • Fat cells once formed cannot be decreased.
  • Thus, good eating habits during childhood are of great importance.

Causes of Childhood Obesity

Dietary Habits

  • Nowadays with multiple foods easily available, children hardly like to eat home food.
  • The dietary habits have shifted from eating fruits, vegetables, whole grain preparation, milk and products to caloric dense (either loaded with fat or sugar) highly processed foods and drinks.
  •  Which just have calories and very less nutrition in proportion to the same.

Eating Habbits

  • Eating while watching TV or when not hungry can lead to immense weight gain.
  • Often eating out in various food joints is a major causative factor because of oversize portions and high grease content.
  • The study concluded that consumption of high fat and high energy (junk foods) and snacking in between meals was the major reason for the children being obese

Physical Inactivity

  • Modern lifestyles have become more comfortable and equally stressful. 
  • An increasing sedentary lifestyle with televisions, video games is taking away the children from outdoor sports.
  • Children are habituated to the comfort provided to them which has reduced their activity levels drastically.

Complications of Childhood Obesity

Physical Complications

  • Type 2 diabetes:  This chronic condition affects the way your child's body uses sugar (glucose). Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome: This cluster of conditions can put your child at risk of heart disease, diabetes or other health problems. Conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL ("good") cholesterol and excess abdominal fat.
  • Asthma: Children who are overweight or obese might be more likely to have asthma.
  • High cholesterol and high blood pressure: A poor diet can cause your child to develop one or both of these conditions. These factors can contribute to the build up of plaques in the arteries. These plaques can cause arteries to narrow and harden, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): This disorder, which usually causes no symptoms, causes fatty deposits to build up in the liver. NAFLD can lead to scarring and liver damage.
  • Sleep disorders: Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which a child's breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.


Social & Emotional Complications

  • Low self-esteem and being bullied: Children often tease or bully their overweight peers, who suffer a loss of self-esteem and an increased risk of depression as a result. 
  • Behaviour and learning problems: Overweight children tend to have more anxiety and poorer social skills than normal-weight children do. These problems might lead children who are overweight to act out and disrupt their classrooms at one extreme, or to withdraw socially at the other. 
  • Depression: Low self-esteem can create overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, which can lead to depression in some children who are overweight. 

Fight Childhood Obesity

5-2-1-0 Rule