Childhood Obesity : its causes, health difficulties, and how to treat it
Causes of childhood obesity:
The causes of childhood obesity are multiple:
Genetic factors: Genetic factors play an important role in obesity, as a child is more susceptible to obesity if one or both parents suffer from obesity.
Unhealthy diet: An unhealthy diet contributes to increasing the risk of obesity, as eating foods rich in fats and sugars leads to an increase in calories consumed, which leads to the accumulation of fat in the body.
Lack of physical activity: Lack of physical activity leads to a decrease in the rate of burning calories, which leads to the accumulation of fat in the body.
Social and economic factors: Some social and economic factors, such as poverty and lack of job opportunities, contribute to increasing the risk of obesity, as these factors lead to a lower standard of living, which leads to eating unhealthy foods and lack of physical activity.
In addition to these reasons, some medical conditions may lead to obesity, such as:
Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism leads to a decreased metabolic rate, which leads to an increased risk of obesity.
Cushing’s syndrome: Cushing’s syndrome leads to increased production of the hormone cortisol, which leads to an increased risk of obesity.
Down syndrome: Children with Down syndrome have an increased risk of obesity.
Negative effects of childhood obesity
Childhood obesity increases the risk of many health diseases, the most important of which are:
Cardiovascular disease: Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis.
Type 2 diabetes: Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Respiratory diseases: Obesity increases the risk of respiratory diseases, such as asthma and sleep apnea.
Bone and joint diseases: Obesity increases the risk of bone and joint diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Psychological problems: Obesity increases the risk of developing psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety.
Often, childhood obesity can lead to:
Low self-confidence: Children with obesity may suffer from low self-confidence, which may lead to social and psychological problems.
Difficulty in practicing physical activities: Children with obesity may have difficulty practicing physical activities, which may lead to other health problems.
Increased risk of cancer: Obesity increases the risk of some types of cancer, such as breast cancer and colon cancer.
Therefore, childhood obesity must be diagnosed early, to take the necessary measures to prevent obesity complications.
you can also check Growth Disorders in Childhood: its causes, signs, and treatment options
How to treat childhood obesity?
Treatment of childhood obesity depends on the severity of obesity, the age of the child, and the general health condition of the child.
In general, treatment of childhood obesity depends on changing lifestyle, through:
Following a healthy diet: includes eating healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and limiting the intake of foods rich in fats and sugars.
Practice regular physical activity: at least 60 minutes daily.
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lose weight, your doctor may recommend weight-loss medications or surgery.
Weight loss medications are not suitable for all children and are only used under the supervision of a doctor.
In severe cases of childhood obesity that do not respond to lifestyle changes or medications, doctors only use surgery as a last resort treatment option.
Here are some tips to help your child lose weight:
Discuss weight loss goals with the child, and help him develop a plan to achieve these goals.
Encourage the child to continue to eat a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity.
Don’t pressure a child to lose weight too quickly: losing weight too quickly can be dangerous.
If your child is obese, it is important to consult a doctor to discuss the best treatment options.