Obese children are adorable, but this condition does not mean it cannot pose health risks, such as obesity. Childhood obesity is influenced by a variety of factors.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says childhood obesity is one of the most serious health challenges of the 21st century.
Recorded in 2016, the number of children suffering from obesity amounted to more than 41 million children with almost half of them in Asia.
Not all children who look big mean suffering from obesity. To find out if a child is obese or not, you can ask your doctor for help to check using growth charts, body mass index calculations, and if necessary undergo other tests according to the child’s condition.
Childhood Obesity Causes
There are many reasons that children can be obese, namely:
Children born to obese families have a higher risk of experiencing the same condition. It is also heavily influenced by habits in families who like to consume foods high in calories and are not balanced by the spirit of doing a lot of physical activity.
Children with psychic problems will make food an escape. He can eat non-stop when feeling stressed or bored. If the parent does not prevent it, then he is potentially severely obese.
In some circles of society, parents often give children fast foods, frozen foods, instant noodles, or biscuits that are practically obtained and not quickly stale. This behavior can also be supported by the ignorance of parents that these foods can actually increase the potential for obesity in children.
The Role of Parents
Parents also turn out to act as a cause of obesity in children. The availability of healthy food at home that is applied consistently is key in shaping a child’s good eating habits, can even overcome a dislike of certain foods.
Studies show families who are used to sitting down to eat together will eat healthier foods. Going out to eat or watching while eating is associated with high consumption of fatty foods.
The way parents offer food affects a child’s perception. A positive perception is formed if parents give the child the opportunity to choose their own food by providing a sufficient portion of healthy food.
Restrictions on the consumption of fast food imposed instead increase the desire of children to eat junk food.
Based on WHO, limiting the portion of children’s meals can help lower the risk of obesity. This happens because a person usually tends to eat more than necessary when the portion of the meal served is quite large.
Lack of Healthy Fats
Eating foods with healthy fat content can lower a person’s risk of obesity. This happens because foods such as avocado, yogurt, coconut oil, and so on are complex foods that contain essential nutrients for the body.
Lack of Motion
Obesity does not appear instantaneously, but occurs gradually. When a child lacks movement, the energy in his body is not balanced because the calories available can not be burned. This build-up of calories in the body leads to the obesity.
A study conducted over 30 years in the United Kingdom, showed that children who watch television every day can make their body mass index rise to the limit of obesity by the age of 30.
Another study was conducted in New Zealand involving as many as 1000 children, who was studied from birth to age 26.
Childhood Obesity Complications
Overweight children can cause physical and psychological health problems. In terms of physical health that can occur as a result of obesity:
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Obesity and a lifestyle that often consumes foods containing glucose will increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Obesity and increased fat can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Increased cholesterol levels and high blood pressure
Poor diet can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in the blood that can form plaque in arterial blood vessels. Plaque can cause narrowing of blood vessels. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Overweight children are at risk of breathing disorders such as asthma, repeated breathing stops during sleep or when going to sleep and difficulty breathing when physical activity.
Psychologically, that can occur due to obesity:
Overweight children are more likely to get ridicule from friends, which can lead to an increased risk of depression and loss of self-esteem.
Experiencing behavior issues
Overweight children have poor anxiety and socializing. The problems that may occur are that they have a tendency to make noise in class or withdraw from the environment.
Feelings of loss of self-esteem can lead to a sense of desperation resulting in depression in some overweight children.