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Obesity In Children, Epidemic, Many Health Risks



Childhood obesity is fast becoming a problem of epidemic proportions in our society with the increasing number of children and adolescents that have abnormally high body weight. This trend has become worrying in that many of the conditions that were once only confined to adults such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol levels can now be seen in children.
Obesity carries with it many health risk factors, but it can also be damaging to a child’s self esteem as well. Obesity may lead them to deal with self-image issues, and they might find it hard to fit in. It is important to note that not everyone with extra pounds is considered obese though. Some children may just naturally have a more muscular physique or a bigger body frame. Your doctor will be the best person to tell you if a child is suffering from obesity so schedule a test with him if you think that your child is obese.

Obesity can sometimes be caused by medical conditions but most of the time it is caused by overeating and lack of physical activity. A lot of times it is also reflective of the parents’ lifestyle wherein there is no stress on healthy food and exercise. Children who are obese are at risk for a number of conditions including the ones mentioned above. They are also at risk for metabolic syndromes, asthma, sleep disorders and hormonal imbalance.

The treatment for childhood obesity is oftentimes just losing weight and maintaining it on a normal range. This can be addressed by giving him a proper diet composed of much fruits and vegetables, limited meats, limited processed foods and fast food products, limited snack like chips and pre-packaged foods. Mealtimes should also be taken together as a family and be taken as a time for sharing stories and catching up. This way everybody eats slower and keeps a better pace in eating.

They should also be more active instead of sedentary, therefore their time in front of the TV or computer should be limited and instead they should focus on more physical play such as running, hide and seek, or sports. Children will also respond well if they can find something that they love to do, like biking or hiking if he likes being outdoors. There are also video games now that are inclined towards helping people lose weight so if your child likes video games, you may look into these games.

Children will also follow examples so it would be best if you also walked the talk. Engage the whole family in eating healthier and doing activities. Choose dishes that everybody in the family can enjoy, and engage in group activities. You can also educate your child by taking him to the grocery and doing interactive quizzes with him on which foods should go on the cart and which should not.

Children also respond well to praise and encouragement so remember to praise your child for the efforts of losing weight every step of the way. Be sensitive to his needs and keep an open mind and ear about his struggles. Being available for him to talk to you about any concerns or difficulties makes it known to your child that he has a loving support in his journey to health.