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Childhood Obesity – A Serious Health Problem Faced By Millions Of Children In America


Are you aware that one out of every six children in America falls in the overweight or obese category? According to the latest statistics, the number of children considered as obese has tripled in the last 20 years. Due to obesity, these children suffer from poor physical and mental health.

Even though the percentage of obesity in pre-school children has come down slightly in the last 2 years, it is still very high and is considered as a national problem. Many parents still have no idea on how to check whether their child is obese or not. They are not aware of “Body Mass Index”.

Obesity means having excess fat in the body. Body Mass Index is the most widely used tool to measure overweight and obesity. Using body mass index, you can easily measure the body weight of children and adults. Body mass index considers the height to weight ratio and also take into account the age and sex of the child/adult.

When all the factors are taken into account, every height will have a corresponding weight which is considered normal. If the BMI of a child is between the 5th percentile and the 84th percentile, then it is normal. But if the BMI is above the 84th percentile, then it is considered as overweight and if the BMI is above the 95th percentile, then it is considered as obese.

Childhood obesity can lead to serious health hazards in children like cholesterol, high blood pressure, heartburn, type 2 diabetics and other ailments. Childhood obesity can also lead to sleeping disorders, anxiety, depression, and can easily affect the overall health of the child. Moreover, these children are more likely to become obese adults and can end up having type 2 diabetics, heart problems and even cancer. Lack of sleep can make their condition even worse.

Do all children who are overweight by a few extra pounds have to face these consequences? No, not all such children are at risk. In fact, studies have shown that as a child grows tall, his weight will automatically adjust for their height. Many children are able to reduce weight by bringing about slight changes in their diet and by participating in more physical activities. Only those kids who fall in the severe obesity category have problems in reducing weight and have to undergo the dilemma.

So, what is the main reason for obesity? According to experts, the main reason for obesity is lack of physical activity among children during school days. Nowadays, most children prefer to spend their leisure time using the computer, watching television, playing on the mobile phone or tablet. They don’t involve in activities that require body movement and physical exertion. To make things worse, they eat a lot of junk food and fast food without any control over their diet. The lack of sleep can also lead to obesity. Children, who sleep less during the night, have a higher tendency of becoming overweight and obese.

It is the responsibility of parents to teach children good habits and emphasize the importance of sleep and diet as early as possible. By reducing the usage of computer and tablets to two hours per day, indulging in more physical activities, urging kids to give up high processed carbs, and including more high fiber foods children can lead a healthy life.

Obesity is a serious health issue that is not easy to overcome. If not treated in advance, it can cause a lot of health problems. By encouraging children to avoid processed food and by keeping a check on technology, you can help your children lead a healthy life.


The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: General


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