Childhood obesity is a serious medical problem. Children, who are obese, often end up developing significant health problems later in life. In addition, they often have low self-esteem, body image problems and suffer from depression.
Symptoms of childhood obesity
It is important to realize that children who are a few extra pounds are not obese. Some children tend to have larger body frames, and each child has a different amount of body fat at different stages of development. Therefore, it will not be possible to look at your child and determine if he is overweight or obese.
A doctor is best able to check your child’s weight and height and see if they are proportionate. The doctor will also calculate your child’s BMI (body mass index) and perform other tests to determine if your child is obese.
Issues and problems due to childhood obesity
Your child may suffer physically, emotionally, and socially due to childhood obesity. Some of the risks of being obese during childhood include:
• Type 2 diabetes: In type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to metabolize sugar efficiently, causing blood sugar levels to rise. It can result in a number of complications. This is a chronic condition.
• Elevated blood vessel pressure and cholesterol: Due to obesity, your child may develop high blood vessel pressure and cholesterol levels. Both lead to plaque buildup in the blood vessels, obstructing the smooth flow of blood and making the heart work harder to pump blood. Plaque formation can lead to a stroke or heart attack after your child reaches adulthood.
• Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease: Here, fat accumulates in the liver, causing irreversible liver damage and scarring. You don’t have any specific symptoms.
• Respiratory disorder: many obese children find it difficult to breathe and the vast majority are diagnosed with asthma.
Childhood obesity can also cause other children to tease and bully your child. This can lead to depression and low self-esteem. Additionally, childhood obesity leads to anxiety and poor social skills, so you’ll receive complaints about your child disrupting the classroom or becoming socially withdrawn. Depression is another major problem among obese children as they feel a sense of hopelessness. This can have serious long-term effects on your child’s mental health.
Consulting a pediatrician is the best and safest way to prevent childhood obesity. The specialists at the clinic will determine your child’s BMI and will also evaluate your child’s eating habits, activities and family history in order to create a personalized plan that will help them lose weight safely.