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July 22nd, 2022
Obesity in children has become an ever-increasing phenomenon in recent times. As of 2020, it has been estimated that over 39 million children under the age of 5 are either overweight or obese.
Obesity is a word used to describe the health situation where an individual develops excessive body fat that is most times unhealthy and places such an individual at risk of diverse health challenges. The major cause of childhood obesity is the consumption of more calories than the amount that is expended or used up during exercise or daily activities.
However, obesity can be caused by regular intake of meals with high sugars and fats, modes of transportation used consistently, and increasing physical inactivity.
An obese child is exposed to life-threatening health situations especially without medical assistance or guidance. Here are some of these dangers.
The consistent consumption of food that is high in sugars and fats results in a buildup of carbohydrates and junk. This can affect the way your child’s body uses glucose, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
2. Breathing challenges
Obese children are prone to experience struggles with breathing properly. The unhealthy fat constricts and blocks the flow of air thereby reducing the volume of air reaching the lungs. This results in asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, and other breathing problems.
3. Emotional and psychological challenges
Due to the stigmatization that comes with being overweight, it is common for obese children to struggle with mental stability. Most develop self-esteem issues and inferiority complex or experience feelings of depression and anxiety at a young age due to the constant teasing and bullying from kids within their age group and environment.
4. Increased levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure
One of the side effects of the consistent accumulation of fat in the arteries is an increased risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, both of which are harmful to an obese child.
5. Pain around joint areas
Obesity increases the strain on the joints especially the knees and hips due to the weight it carries. Hence, most obese children experience pain around their back, hips, and knees.
It is normal for you as a parent to be worried or concerned when you notice your child is obese. However, not to worry, here are simple steps that you can take to help manage obesity in your child.
A good way to deal with childhood obesity is by encouraging them to participate in exercise and other fun outdoor games. Doing so helps them burn unhealthy fats, sweat more, and have a great time in general. You can begin by taking them along when you participate in outdoor activities.
Monitoring the quantity of food your child eats contributes positively to dealing with obesity. Make it a priority to give your kids the right amount of food whether they are obese or not. This will help control the number of calories they consume and help them maintain a healthy weight.
Most obese folks have a bad habit of eating junk. Junk food is usually high in fats and low in minerals and vitamins. Hence, to deal with obesity and protect your child’s health, stick to veggies and fresh food. If possible, ensure that all meals and snacks are homemade. Also encourage your child to eat fruits and vegetables rich in fiber by making them compulsory daily.
If your child is obese, it might be because of old, negative habits. Trying to get rid of such habits can prove to be very difficult. Therefore, you can help your obese child by being a better model. This involves eating balanced meals, exercising often, and resting properly. With time, your child is bound to learn from you and repeat those same habits because of your example.
You don’t have to manage your child’s obesity alone. Advisably, visit any community health center around you for proper medical advice. Seeking health experts will provide you with sufficient information, tools, or medications that can help you take care of your child. Do not hesitate to contact us here or visit a health center that is competent enough to address your child’s obesity.
If you find out that your child is obese, be open to learning more about the subject and the various ways that you can tackle it. As a parent, your child’s health status is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Be committed to learning as much as possible and taking the right steps in securing your child’s health.
Tags: child obesity, obesity