Obesity among Children

Today a mass number of children and teens are found overweight and a huge number of families around the world are affected by childhood obesity. Those extra pounds put kids at risk of developing serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. Youth obesity also takes an emotional toll. Overweight and obese children are often teased and excluded from team activities, leading to low self-esteem, negative body image, and even depression.

If you are having a overweight child, these facts may sound scary and discouraging. But here’s the good news: with the right support, encouragement, and positive role modeling you can help your child reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Understanding how children become obese or overweight in the first place is an important step toward breaking the cycle. Most cases of childhood obesity are caused by eating too much and exercising too little. Children need enough food to support healthy growth and development. But when they take in more calories than they burn throughout the day, the result is weight gain.

There are no easy options when it comes to tackling childhood weight problems and obesity. Weight-loss surgery and weight loss drugs are rarely recommended for children and adolescents. If you have changed your family’s eating and physical activity habits and your child has not reached a healthy weight, or if your doctor determines that your child’s health or emotional well-being is at risk because of his or her weight, you may want to consider a weight-control program. Depending on your child’s BMI, age, and health, your doctor may refer you to a registered dietitian, psychologist, or exercise physiologist for additional guidance on healthy eating, physical activity, and weight control. And sometimes the doctors also prescribe online prescription medicines like Bontril and Phentermine. Again, any treatment program should address healthy eating and physical activity habits for your entire family.

The more time your children spend watching TV, playing video games, or using the computer, the less time they’ll spend on active pastimes. Limits on television and computer time lead directly to your child spending more time being physically active. Remember how important it is for you to be a positive role model—yes, you may have to cut down on your own viewing habits—and have a good attitude about the change. Children who sit too much and move too little are at the highest risk for becoming overweight. Kids need an hour of exercise daily for optimum health. This may seem like a lot, but exercise doesn’t have to happen in a gym or all at once. Instead, try to incorporate movement into your family’s regular routine.