September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Childhood obesity is a condition in which a child is significantly overweight for his or her age and height. It is a serious problem in the United States. 14.4 million Children are affected by childhood obesity (children 2-5 year old 13.4%, 6-11 20.3% and 12-19 21.2%).
Childhood obesity can harm the body in a variety of ways. Children who have obesity are more likely to have:
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
- Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.
- Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea.
- Joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort.
- Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn).
Childhood obesity is also related to:
- Psychological problems such as anxiety and depression.
- Low self-esteem and lower self-reported quality of life.
- Social problems such as bullying and stigma.
- Children who have obesity are more likely to become adults with obesity.11 Adult obesity is associated with
increased risk of several serious health conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
- If children have obesity, their obesity and disease risk factors in adulthood are likely to be more severe.
With the numbers of COVID-19 increasing and schools opening and closing, this is a good time to focus on our
children’s health especially weight. Please follow up with your MD with any questions or concerns.
Written by LaVella Head