Childhood Obesity and Health Risks

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Today, public awareness is increasingly focusing on childhood obesity and the health risks associated with such a devastating issue.  It is certainly no secret that obesity in children has quickly grown into a serious problem, and it is now referred to as a nationwide epidemic.  What’s more, today’s obese children are tomorrow’s unhealthy adults: the next generation faces considerable problems with hypertension, Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other severe health conditions stemming from childhood obesity.  Thus, the increased awareness and focus on childhood obesity is a good beginning, and there is much to do when it comes to battling childhood obesity.

Overweight children frequently grow up and become adults with significant weight issues.  Children suffering from obesity have already developed negative eating habits and poor exercise habits which are carried through into their adulthoods.  This makes such children more susceptible to a whole host of health risks.  One quarter of all American children are struggling with being overweight and are also struggling with issues related to childhood obesity.  Many children that develop obesity also develop Diabetes of the type II variety.  Formerly an issue that was far more prominent in older people, children are also now developing this form of diabetes, too.  Type II Diabetes is also identified as non insulin dependent Diabetes.

Childhood obesity can increase the chances that a child will develop issues with asthma, and obesity can further complicate existing asthmatic issues.  Experts are now finding that there may be a link between the onset of asthma and obesity.  Further, since extra weight strains the body physically, it can also strain the already weakened respiratory system of the child suffering from asthma and asthmatic attacks.

Childhood obesity is also an issue that can have deeply negative effects on a child psychologically.  While being overweight may cause issues with the child’s self esteem, confidence, and self perception, the very same issues with weight can later lead to issues with mood disorders and depression, too.  Obese children have far more difficulty participating in normal, healthy childhood activities including sports and recreational pursuits.  Obesity can cause children to miss out on many of the positive things children are meant to enjoy with relative ease.  These same children will develop into teenagers with difficulties socializing and dating, as well.

Children that are obese also face problems when they become obese adults.  Poor eating and exercise habits follow the child throughout his or her life and the child later becomes an adult that continues to struggle with weight issues.  The issue can even be passed onto children and grandchildren thereby making the issue with weight control one that become generational.  As an overweight adult, the individual then faces an onslaught of additional health related concerns including the development of heart disease, and the potential risk of having a stroke, as well as gastrointestinal issues.  Obese adults also face issues with the development and/or exacerbation of Arthritis.  Finally, obese adults are more prone to developing high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and certain types of cancers, fatty liver disease, and gallbladder disease, too.

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