The risks of developing obesity in childhood

Posted on: September 24th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

ID-10063993Do you have a child who is suffering from obesity?  Being overweight and obesity can be treated in childhood. It may be reversed or prevented.  If you don't address this problem, your child is a likely candidate to be obese or overweight as an adult. Or worse, your child has an increased risk to develop various health problems. It can also lead to social and emotional complications which can affect the well-being of your child.

Some Health Problems involving obesity in childhood

  • Type 2 diabetes -  affects how your child's body metabolizes sugar (glucose). Type 2 diabetes can often be reversed by eating healthier foods and exercising.
  • High cholesterol and high blood pressure -  lead to the buildup of plaques which can cause a narrowing and hardening of the arteries this can lead to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
  • Asthma and other breathing problems.  Due to the excess weight on your child's body, the development and health of your child's lungs can be impaired
  • Sleep apnea – this is just one form of sleeping disorder which your child can suffer from because of obesity.  Your child may snore or have abnormal breathing when he or she sleeps
  • Early puberty or menstruation- obesity can create hormone imbalances for your child which causes puberty to start earlier than expected.

Some Social and emotional problems involving obesity in childhood

  • Low self-worth – an obese child is often the target of  bullying and teasing which can have a great impact on his or her self-esteem  and self-worth
  • Learning problems- there's a tendency for an overweight child to have school-related anxiety which can lead to declining academic performance.
  • Depression- with a very low self-worth coupled with the health complications from being obese, this can be very overwhelming for a child which could lead to depression. 

To address the issue of obesity in childhood, one must look into the changes that can be made to the child's lifestyle. It will be best if the whole family cooperates with the changes to be made.   This will also be advantageous for other members of the family who are overweight.

Encourage your child to eat more healthily and engage in a variety of physical activity. Make the small changes gradually for there is a higher rate of success with your child adapting to these changes  in the long-term.

The child would want to see a role model and you as a parent can make a big impact.  You can help him or her to stay healthy. Be involved as much as possible in helping your child make these changes.  Monitor the changes and discuss these with your child.  And don't forget to encourage and reward him or her for the small achievements made.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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