Did you know that almost 20% of children and adolescents in the US are affected by obesity?
Childhood obesity is a very serious problem in the United States with over 14 million children between the ages of 2-19 being affected.
And although childhood obesity affects 1 in 5 children, many people don’t know what obesity really is and are often confused about the differences from other conditions such as being overweight.
That’s why we’re here to give you a condition breakdown on Childhood Obesity.
What is Obesity?
While many people think that being overweight and being obese is the same thing, they are actually a little different.
Obesity and being overweight are both defined by the BMI, or Body Mass Index, which is a calculation that involves your mass and your height.
A healthy BMI would be between the values of 18.5 and 24.9 while being overweight is classified as a BMI of 25 or greater and obesity as 30 or greater.
So while being overweight and being obese are similar, obesity is a much more serious condition that can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
What is the Cause of Obesity?
The main risk factors for obesity are unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as poor diet and lack of physical activity, and genetic factors.
While many people are aware that consuming low nutrient, high calorie foods and beverages are unhealthy and can lead to obesity, it’s not as well known that genetics play a role as well.
According to the CDC, certain children are more at risk for developing obesity than others, particularly Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White children.
However, there are other environmental factors such as socioeconomic status and parental feeding behavior which can also increase the risk of childhood obesity.
How can you prevent Childhood Obesity?
There are many ways to prevent and treat childhood obesity at home. Here are some of the most common and helpful methods.
1. Create a Healthy Eating Pattern
Having a healthy and nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables is a great way to help your child maintain a healthy weight as they age.
2. Move More as a Family
Having more physical activities as a family not only encourages a healthy lifestyle, but also allows more bonding time between you and your child.
3. Create a consistent sleep schedule
Poor sleep can increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and many other diseases and conditions. Making sure your child receives enough sleep at the right time is important for their development and their health.
4. Visit your pediatrician
Visiting your pediatrician for a professional examination is the best way to get personalized care for your child and to prevent childhood diabetes.
If you need to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician, you can call us at (718) 828-6610 or schedule one on our website parkchestermedical.org!