Childhood obesity is the condition where a child’s more than usual amount of body fat affects the health and general well-being, negatively. Its rising prevalence has led to it being an issue of serious public concern.
How is it diagnosed?
As it is the case of adults, a child’s BMI is used to find out if he/she is obese. With children, the normal values vary much, depending on the age and gender.
The effects of being obese in children can manifest in the form of physical and mental difficulties. The emotional problems are the first to surface, which is most likely due the constant taunting from peers. On the physical side, children may develop diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, early puberty, skin infections and more. Childhood obesity goes far, resulting in issues with the Endocrine, Gastrointestinal, Musculoskeletal systems of the body.
Long term effects
Unfortunately, the effects of childhood obesity last much longer than childhood itself. These children are usually more likely to be obese, even as adults, and have a higher risk than normal of developing type 2 diabetes, stroke etc
What causes it?
Childhood Obesity is mainly caused by the modern junk food habit combined with the absence of exercise. Genetics may also play a small role. The extreme engagement of children with gaming devices/computers in present times is a main reason for children not getting enough exercise.
Over 200 genes have a say over the body weight and these take in a lot of inputs like physical activity, type of foods ingested etc. On the whole, the modern lifestyle does not invite a lot of physical activity from children and it is about time that necessary steps are taken to create awareness towards this big mounting problem.
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