Childhood obesity is a serious medical problem. Children, who are obese, often end up developing major health problems later in life. In addition, they usually have low self-esteem, body image issues, and suffer from depression.
Symptoms Of Childhood Obesity
It is important to realize that not all children who have a few extra pounds are obese. Some kids tend to have larger body frames and each child has different amount of body fat at different development stages. Hence, it will not be possible to look at your child and determine that they are obese or overweight.
A doctor is best placed to check your child’s weight and height, and see whether they are proportionate. The doctor will also calculate your child’s BMI (body mass index), and perform other tests to determine whether your child is obese.
Issues And Problems Due To Childhood Obesity
Your child can 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, leading to spike in sugar levels in the blood. It can result in a host of complications. This is a chronic condition.
• Elevated Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Due to obesity, your child can develop both high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Both lead to build-up of plaque in the blood vessels, obstructing smooth flow of blood and causing the heart to work harder to pump blood. Plaque formation can lead to a stroke or heart attack after your child attains adulthood.
• Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease: Here, fat accumulates in the liver, leading to irreversible liver damage and scarring. It does not have any specific symptoms.
• Respiratory Disorder: Many obese children find it difficult to breathe, and a vast majority is diagnosed with asthma.
Childhood obesity can also lead to other children teasing and bullying your child. This can lead to depression and low self-esteem. Also, childhood obesity leads to anxiety and poor social skills due to which you will get complaints about your child either disrupting the classroom or becoming socially withdrawn.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 also evaluate your child’s eating habits, activities, and family history so they can create a personalized plan that will help your child lose weight safely.