Most parents are not overly concerned about their young children being overweight. They tend to dismiss it as “puppy fat” – something that will melt away in time as their children grow. Is that right or is childhood obesity something to worry about? While in some cases, this may happen, it is not necessarily true. Some children find it difficult to lose that excess weight and very often they grow up to be overweight teens and adults.
Several studies that have been done have reached some significant conclusions about childhood obesity and its short and long term results.
How Obesity Affects Children In The Short And Long Term
In the short term, children who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for a wide range of ailments including but not restricted to the following:
• Cardiovascular disease
• High blood pressure
• Sleep apnea
• High cholesterol
• Joint and bone problems
In addition to these outwardly visible health problems, obese children are also more likely to be socially marginalized as other children often make fun of them and leave them out of their activities. This can then lead to various psychological problems such as low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
A young child who is unsuccessful in shedding the excess weight will eventually grow up to be an overweight adolescent and/or adult. As obese adults, they will be at higher risk for several different adult health problems, from osteoarthritis and Type 2 Diabetes to stroke and heart disease. They are also at higher risk for various types of cancers, ranging from ovary, kidneys and pancreas to cervix, ovary and breast cancer.
The social stigmatization and associated psychological problems too often continue well into adulthood. All of this goes to show that obesity in children is not something to be shrugged off so casually. Parents need to be more alert to the many physical and psychological issues associated with children being overweight and need to take measure to ensure that their kids are at a healthy weight.
What Causes Childhood Obesity And What Can Be Done To Prevent It
One of the most common reasons why children today are more overweight is because of their increasingly sedentary lifestyles and eating too much fat-laden junk food. The solution to ensuring that children are healthy and within the recommended weight range for their age is by helping them make the right food choices and encouraging them to live a more active lifestyle.