Childhood Obesity - Health and Nutrition
Health problems related to childhood obesity were confirmed in the CDC book on the health consequences of obesity as more than 72 million people are obese in the USA, and 16% of the children. The rates have doubled since 1980, for adults, and the rates have tripled for children. The increase is irrespective of age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education level or geographic region.
Children and adolescents have physical, psychological and social consequences due to obesity. They are developing Type 2 diabetes, which was an adult disease until recently. Obese children are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, along with high cholesterol, higher blood pressure and abnormal glucose tolerance tests In one study 70% of children between the ages of 5 to 17 they found obese children had at least one risk factor for heart disease and 39% had two risk factors. These statistics are very depressing for future generations.
Childhood Obesity Facts
One of the realities for an obese child that has to be understood is extra fat cells originating with obesity in childhood never disappear. The child can lose weight and the fat cells will lose their store of fat. If the child gains weight later in life those fat cells will fill back up with a fat deposit, which makes it easier to regain weight later in life. It doesn’t mean you can’t lose the extra weight; you will just have to work a little harder at the weight loss.
It is best for the child if the mother can breast feed. If a child is fed cow’s milk under the age of two they have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Another interesting factor is, if mom was exposed to famine conditions during pregnancy a son has a higher risk of obesity after the age of 50, stated by Carol Simontacchi in her book, “Weight Success for a Lifetime.” This would include a mother dieting during pregnancy, particularly if she was using diet pills.
Americans ate less than 20 pounds of sugar in the early 1900’s but by now that figure is up to over 200 pounds annually, due to soft drinks, candy, etc. Obviously this puts your child at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes and Syndrome X, “a cluster of symptoms that includes abdominal obesity.” This much sugar intake causes your pancreas to secrete too much insulin, which causes your body to store fat.
Childhood Obesity: Fit For Life
Of course, years ago we didn't know that we were making such unhealthy choices or that we were setting our children up for weight gain problems. The only practical thing to do now is to change our eating habits and exercise habits. It is important to set a good example for our children.
For those that have young children, at least you have this information in a timely manner. We know about the health consequences of obesity now, so our children should be healthier and hopefully we can avoid obesity for them. We can stop health problems related to childhood obesity by keeping children active. Start them on a healthy diet from the time they are babies and there is a better chance they will not become obese. Limit fast food and keep healthy snacks in the home
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© 2010 Pamela Oglesby
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