Obesity in children has become an epidemic in many developing countries. This is a condition that results in a child being overweight leading to many physical ailments and conditions. The ingestion of high fat, high calorie and high sugar content food results in the storage of fat in children well beyond their needs.
In order to understand the severity of this phenomenon, the following facts need to be learned and understood in order to take the proper course of action to reverse the trend of increasing obesity amongst the young in this and future generations.
1. In the past thirty years, the number of obese children has tripled in number;
2. In the United States alone, children between six and eleven years old were only seven percent in 1980 to nearly twenty percent in 2008.
3. Adolescents between the ages of twelve and nineteen years of age were only five percent in 1980 and increased to eighteen percent in 2008.
4. Nearly one third of all children and adolescents in the United States were either overweight or obese.
Being overweight is defined as having excess body weight in terms of fat, bone, muscle, water or a combination of these factors for an individual of a particular age and height. Obesity results from having excess body fat. These two conditions result from ingesting too many calories compared to the amount of calories being consumed.
There are many health effects in store for a child suffering from obesity. The following are the short-term health issues that would be faced when one is obese:
1. The obese individual would have increased risk for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or hypertension;
2. The obese individual would have increased risk for prediabetes, a physical condition where blood glucose levels are high and may result in full-blown diabetes.
3. The obese individual would have increased risk for bone and joint issues, sleep disorders, psychological problems and social stigma resulting in self-esteem issues.
The following are the long-term health effects for individuals suffering from obesity.
1. Obese children would eventually grow to become obese adults and with it, would most likely suffer health problems like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis among others.
2. Obesity is often one of the causes of many types of cancer, such as breast cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer and many others.
One way to prevent this is modifying lifestyle and dietary habits. These include increasing exercise activity and eating healthier food to prevent obesity and eventually the health issues associated with this condition.