Childhood Obesity: Top Health Risks

 

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In 2015-16, the National Center for Health Statistics conducted a survey to determine the obesity rate among youngsters and it was learned that 18.5% of youth aged between 2 and 19 years suffers from obesity.

Childhood obesity is a rising concern that leads to various health issues. As obese children enter adolescence, they are more likely to experience severe health issues than healthier people from their age group.

Children with a body mass index of more than 30 are considered obese. An unhealthy lifestyle is the major underlying cause of excessive weight gain among children. Lack of physical activity or exercise, unhealthy diet, psychological problems, and genetic disorders also contribute to this issue.

If you don’t consult a physician for your child’s health, obesity may lead to the following health problems:

Hypertension

It’s a prevalent misconception that only the elderly can suffer from high blood pressure. However, obesity increases the risk of hypertension and high cholesterol levels among children as well. A poor diet often leads to this issue.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic health problem in which your metabolism is compromised. Your body fails to regulate sugar levels in your blood and can’t produce sufficient insulin. Back in the day, it was believed that only adults were prone to this condition, but with the increased rate of childhood obesity, youths also experience its symptoms.

Let’s take a look at the most common signs and symptoms of obesity:
• Blurred vision
• Dark skin patches
• Increased hunger pangs
• Fatigue
• Slow-healing wounds

Asthma

While you can’t always prevent asthma, you’re more likely to suffer from this condition if you’re overweight. Obese children are twice more prone to have asthma than children with healthy BMI.

In this condition, the airways narrow and lead to excessive production of mucus. It triggers asthma attacks, coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. You can better manage asthma by losing excess weight.

Sleep Disorders

If your child can’t fall asleep or fails to enjoy quality sleep at night, they may be suffering from sleep disorders. Here’s the ideal sleep chart for children:
• 1-3 years – 12-14 hours
• 3-6 years – 11-12 hours
• 7-12 years – 10-12 hours
• 13-18 years – 8-10 hours

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder and its symptoms include loud snoring, breathlessness during sleep, irritability in the morning, and awakening with a dry mouth. A majority of obese children suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome refers to a collection of various health conditions including hypertension, excess fat around the waist, high blood sugar levels, and high cholesterol levels. Children with a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop its symptoms over the years.

Summary

Childhood obesity causes several health problems and risks the lives of children. However, through an active lifestyle and a healthy diet, it’s possible to manage weight and live a healthy life.

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Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!

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