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What is Childhood Obesity


Obesity has become a significant issue both in developed as well as in developing countries. The disease is equally targeting children and adults. Childhood obesity has reached epidemic heights all over the world. This has a significant and significant influence both physically and psychologically. Children with obesity are likely to remain overweight into later stages of maturity and have more chances to come up with diseases such as heart complications and diabetes at an early age. How obesity grows is not fully comprehended, and it is considered an illness with several bases. Conservational issues, daily life inclinations, and social atmosphere play critical parts in the growing dominance of fatness universally.

The notion of being obese is presumed to be the consequence of intensified caloric and fat consumption. On the flip side, there is proof that unnecessary sugar use by soft drinks, enlarged portion sizes, and a steady decrease in physical activity have been playing a central part in the growing rates of obesity. Childhood obesity can intensely upset children’s emotional well-being, physical health, and self-esteem. It is also linked with weak academic performance, and a lower quality of life a child goes through. Other conditions like cardiovascular, metabolic, pulmonary, renal disorders, hepatic, orthopedic, and neurological are also observed concerning childhood obesity.


Health policy experts and professionals, children’s advocates, and parents are now much more anxious about the issue of growing obesity in children. The primary concern is that today’s obese and overweight children will transform into tomorrow’s obese and overweight adults, intended to undergo all the issues related to health and the costs linked with being overweight.

What is obesity?

There is no specific definition used to describe childhood obesity. It has been variously labeled as weight-for-height percentiles, absolute weight, percent of ideal body weight, triceps skinfolds, and most lately, by the term body mass index (BMI weight in kg=height in meters2). All of these measures refer to diverse characteristics of body configuration or mass, but they are temperately well connected to body fat, even in developing children. Apart from the lack of uniformity in the anthropometric measure, the extent of obesity measurement differs from study to study; though, for the conventional studies, weight-for-height higher than 120% of ideal, or a BMI greater than either the 85th or 95th percentile was taken as obese or overweight.

Many different ways are there to know the proportion of body fat. The examination methods consist of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), and underwater weighing (densitometry). Techniques like BMI, skin-fold thickness, and waist circumference have been used widely in the clinical environment. Though these approaches are less precise than examination procedures, they are acceptable for detecting a threat. BMI may not be as beneficial in children because of their varying bodily structure as they develop through typical evolution, but is suitable for discerning adults.

Causes of childhood obesity

Following are the significant causes observed responsible for childhood obesity.

 Sugary beverages

As a result of extensive research, the researchers have found a secure connection between the consumption of all kinds of sweet drinks and weight and its contribution has been considered vital to being obese and overweight. Since these sugary drinks are less filling than other food items and can be ingested faster, they result in higher caloric consumption.

Junk food or Snacks

Junk food items have also been observed as a factor that contributes to weight gain. Such foods include things like baked stuff, chips, and candy.

Increase in Portion size

A drastic increase in portion sizes has dramatically influenced body weight. Excessive caloric intake causes an imbalance in the body’s energy, ultimately resulting in obesity.

Lack of physical activity

Research on the particular topic convinces us that the excessive time spent on television and no time wasted on outdoor games along with the intake of junk food items, sweetened cereals, sweetened beverages, and salty snacks increase body weight to a great extent.

Cultural and social factors

These factors have also been the causes of increasing weight. Food has been used as part of socializing in our society, as a reward, or as a means to control others, which encourages the expansion of harmful associations with food, thus cumulating the danger of evolving plumpness.

Family aspects

Family habits impact the child, whether they are inactive or bodily active. Children develop according to the lifestyle of their parents; how active their routine is, what kind of foods they eat, what they do in their leisure time, etc.

Psychological factors

Obesity has also been found as a result of anxiety and depression which is prevailing in our children. Children are a sensitive part of our society and are influenced even by minor issues. Some are strong enough to cope with the issues they are having, but others are more vulnerable. Physical health is strongly linked to mental health. And this is due to the difference in eating and sleeping habits. When a child is mentally strong, it shows in their appetites and physical outlook. On the other hand, if a child has some problems going on in his or her mind, he or she may be obese or unfit physically according to her age.

Consequences of childhood obesity

Numerous important consequences have been noted as a result of obesity. It can intensely disturb children’s self-esteem, social, and emotional well-being, and physical health. It is also linked to weak educational enactment and a poorer value of life practiced by the child.

Reducing the risk of obesity in children

Our genes can’t be transformed, but we can work on our environment to reduce the risk of obesity. And the first step starts with the family. This responsibility lies on the parent’s shoulders to focus on their child’s routine and lifestyle, giving them healthy food to eat, not keeping unhealthy stuff at home, convincing them to play outdoor games rather than watching television or playing indoor games, exercising with them daily. These steps, if taken properly, can greatly help reduce body weight.

The selection of healthy food items and getting sufficient physical activity can be problematic for kids and parents as they reside in an environment that does not sustain healthy habits. After family, the outer environment such as schools, daycare centers, etc. must concentrate on ways to lessen the extent of obesity by giving children the knowledge regarding the benefits of eating healthy, doing more physical activity, and also helping them achieve these goals in every way possible such as coming up with more creative outdoor games that make them active, showing the harmful effects of being fat and obese through cartoons, etc. so that they can convince themselves in being healthy and active. Actions must be taken regarding psychological treatment as well. Parents, teachers, and other caretakers must be careful enough to observe the differences in a child’s eating or sleeping habits and check whether the child is going through an emotional problem.

The causes of obesity must be greatly focused on to slow down the rate of obesity in children. Many constituents play their role in the development of childhood obesity, some being more critical than others.


Сагандыков, %., Миронов, В, & Простынюк, Т В. (2016). Http:// Тенденции Развития Науки И Образования. doi:10.18411/lj-31-10-2016-1-11

Http:// (2017). doi:10.18411/a-2017-023

Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. (n.d.). doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f

Overweight & Obesity. (2016, December 15). Retrieved February 14, 2018, from



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