THE FACTS ABOUT OBESITY IN CHILDREN & YOUNG ADULTS : The percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s. Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity.Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Body mass index, or BMI, is a widely used screening tool for measuring both overweight and obesity. BMI percentile is preferred for measuring children and young adults (ages 2–20) because it takes into account that they are still growing, and growing at different rates depending on their age and sex. Health professionals use growth charts to see whether a child’s weight falls into a healthy range for the child’s height, age, and sex.
- Children with a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and less than the 95th percentile are considered overweight.
- Children at or above the 95th percentile have obesity.
Childhood Obesity and Child Well-being
Childhood obesity has immediate and long-term impacts on physical, social, and emotional health. For example:
- Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases that impact physical health, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and risk factors for heart disease.
- Children with obesity are bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers, and are more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
- In the long term, childhood obesity also is associated with having obesity as an adult, which is linked to serious conditions and diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and several types of cancer.
Overweight and obesity, as well as related non-communicable diseases, are largely preventable. The goal in fighting the childhood obesity epidemic is to achieve an energy balance which can be maintained throughout the individual’s life-span.
We have an unprecedented overweight and obesity epidemic. The condition continues to worsen, striking younger and younger age groups.
In fact, the UK Department of Health has issued new physical activity guidelines urging parents to make sure their toddlers exercise. The UK, just like the U.S., struggles under an obesity epidemic. In the United States, one in three children are either overweight or obese.
Not only does obesity result in significant health issues for children, it can also lead to crippling, financial devastation in the form of massive, never-ending health bills.
To complement our post, we would like to present to you an amazon publication which we would recommend to anyone with responsibility for feeding a human being. A child, overweight or not or an adult, such as yourself!
Your Child’s Weight: Helping Without Harming by Ellyn Satter.In addition to our review below, This book gives great information and advice on how to make meal times fun and enjoyable while helping your child grow strong and confident.