Childhood obesity

General or Other | Paediatrics | Childhood obesity (Disease)


Childhood obesity is characterized by excess body fat. This condition perturbs a childs health or wellbeing. Childhood obesity is a disturbing disorder because it leads to other health problems which occur were becoming adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Causes and Risk factors

The causes of obesity are complex and include genetic, biological, behavioral and cultural factors. Obesity in childhood and adolescence can be related to: poor eating habits; overeating or binging; lack of exercise; family history of obesity; medical illnesses such as endocrine and neurological problems; medications like steroids, some psychiatric medications; stressful life events or changes that can include separations, divorce, moves, deaths, abuse; family and peer problems; low self-esteem; depression or other emotional problems.

Physical consequences of obesity include: increased risk of heart disease; high blood pressure; diabetes; breathing problems and trouble sleeping. Depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder can also occur. Some of the other disorders would include liver disease, early puberty or menarche, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, skin infections, and asthma.

Diagnosis and Treatment

As methods to determine body fat directly are difficult, the diagnosis of obesity is often based on BMI (body mass index) determinates obesity from the age of two. BMI-for-age between 85th and 94th percentile indicates overweight and BMI-for-age 95th percentile or above indicates obesity. Obese children need a thorough medical evaluation by a pediatrician or family physician to consider the possibility of a physical cause and to begin a weight- management program.

Treatment usually includes changes in your childs diet and level of physical activity. It’s more like a change of lifestyle than treatment. ...