Obesity, childhood

Other names: Childhood obesity

Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents when they are well above the normal weight for their age and height. It can lead to various health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and psychological issues like poor self-esteem and depression.

# SYMPTOMS

Not all children carrying extra pounds are overweight or obese. Your child's doctor can help determine if your child's weight could pose health problems using growth charts and other tests.

# CAUSES

Lifestyle issues such as lack of physical activity and consuming high-calorie foods, genetic, and hormonal factors contribute to childhood obesity.

# RISK FACTORS

Factors like diet, lack of exercise, family history of obesity, psychological issues, and socioeconomic factors increase the risk of childhood obesity.

# COMPLICATIONS

Childhood obesity can lead to physical complications like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, sleep disorders, fatty liver disease, and early puberty. Social and emotional complications include low self-esteem, bullying, behavior problems, learning difficulties, and depression.

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Preparation for Appointment Be prepared with information about your child's symptoms, family history, growth measurements, typical meals eaten at home, questions for the doctor about health problems and treatment options.

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Tests and Diagnosis Doctors use BMI calculations and growth charts to diagnose childhood obesity. Blood tests may be ordered to check for cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and hormone imbalances.

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TREATMENTs Treatment includes dietary changes, increased physical activity, medications in some cases, or weight-loss surgery for severely obese adolescents.

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Lifestyle Changes Limit sugar-sweetened beverages, provide fruits and vegetables, eat meals together as a family, limit eating out at fast-food restaurants, adjust portion sizes appropriately for age, limit screen time to less than 2 hours a day.

# COPING AND SUPPORT

Parents play a crucial role in helping obese children feel loved and in control of their weight. Encourage positive lifestyle changes without being critical or judgmental.


QUESTIONS

  1. What is childhood obesity?

Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition where a child is well above the normal weight for their age and height.

  1. What are the symptoms of childhood obesity?

Not all children carrying extra pounds are overweight or obese. Growth charts and tests can help determine if a child's weight poses health problems.

  1. What are the causes of childhood obesity?

Lifestyle issues like lack of physical activity and consuming high-calorie foods contribute to childhood obesity.

  1. What are the risk factors for childhood obesity?

Factors like diet, lack of exercise, family history of obesity, psychological issues, and socioeconomic factors increase the risk of childhood obesity.

  1. What are the complications of childhood obesity?

Complications include physical issues like diabetes and metabolic syndrome as well as social and emotional problems like low self-esteem and depression.

  1. How is childhood obesity diagnosed?

Doctors use BMI calculations and growth charts along with blood tests to diagnose childhood obesity.

  1. What treatments are available for childhood obesity?

Treatment includes dietary changes, increased physical activity, medications in some cases or weight-loss surgery for severely obese adolescents.

  1. What lifestyle changes can help manage childhood obesity?

Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages, providing fruits and vegetables, eating meals together as a family can help manage childhood obesity.

  1. How can parents support children with obesity?

Parents play a crucial role in helping obese children feel loved and in control of their weight by encouraging positive lifestyle changes without being critical or judgmental.

  1. Why is it important to address childhood obesity early?

Addressing childhood obesity early is crucial to prevent long-term health complications associated with this condition.