Obesity and Weight Loss Problems in Children

weight loss

The number of children who are overweight, obese, and generally need weight loss to stay healthy is rising at an alarming rate. Extra and unnecessary weight puts children at risk of serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. Childhood obesity may even be taking a serious emotional toll because these kids are frequently teased by their more fit counterparts and excluded from team activities. This leads to low self-esteem, negative body impression, and even depression.

Overweight and obese children are at a greater risk of developing serious health problems if no weight loss occurs. These problems can be as diverse as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Asthma
  • Restless or disordered sleep patterns
  • Liver and gall bladder disease
  • Depression and low self-esteem

These overweight children in need of weight loss may also be more likely to develop eating disorders and even substance abuse problems. Diagnosing and treating children with weight problems as early as possible may reduce the health risks and other serious medical conditions as the children reach adulthood and get older.

Causes of weight problems and obesity

Understanding the underlying causes of how children become overweight or obese is very important in breaking the cycle. Most cases of childhood obesity are caused by parents allowing their children to eat too much unchecked and having very little physical activity. Children normally need a big volume of food to support their fast growth and development especially during the pre-puberty stage. But when they take in too much calories than they can burn throughout the day, the result will be weight gain.

Many factors contribute to this growing imbalance between calories and activities:

  • Busy families are cooking less and eating more processed foods or fast foods.
  • Easy access to cheap and high calorie junk foods.
  • Food portions are bigger and remain uncontrolled by parents, both inside and outside the home.
  • Children spend less time actively playing outside and spend more time playing computer games, watching TV, or generally just using the computer.
  • Many schools are now removing or cutting back on physical education programs.
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Posted in Children's Health

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