Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start kids on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
One of the best strategies to combat excess weight in your child is to improve the diet and exercise levels of your entire family. This helps protect the health of your child now and in the future.
Causes of childhood obesity
Although there are some genetic and hormonal causes of childhood obesity, most excess weight is caused by kids eating too much and exercising too little. Children, unlike adults, need extra nutrients and calories to fuel their growth and development. So if they consume the calories needed for daily activities, growth and metabolism, they add pounds in proportion to their growth. But children who eat more calories than needed gain weight beyond what’s required to support their growing bodies.
Far less common than lifestyle issues are genetic diseases and hormonal disorders that can predispose a child to obesity. These diseases, such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome, affect a very small proportion of children. In the general population, eating and exercise habits play a much larger role.
Many factors — usually working in combination — increase your child’s risk of becoming overweight: Continue reading About Childhood obesity