Health Risks of Childhood Obesity

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Obesity is a medical condition in which the human body weight is greater than healthy limits.  It is defined by BMI (Body Mass Index).  It is mainly caused by accumulation of excess body fat and it can have a huge negative impact on health.  This is mainly due to consumption of high calorie food and insufficient physical activity.  Genes also play a role.  Obesity is known to increase the likelihood of many killer diseases.  Obesity is one of the serious public health problems and also one of the leading preventable causes of death all over the world.  

Obesity among children has reached alarming proportions in the current century all over the world.  In fact, it has trebled in the last 3 decades.  It is risky because childhood obesity persists into adulthood.  There are many health risks of childhood obesity.  

Obese children suffer mentally due to their abnormal size.  They may suffer from low self esteem and depression due to teasing by their peers.  Research studies have found that hypertension is nearly 9 times more frequent in obese children.  Obese children are more likely to be affected by high blood pressure when they become adults.  They are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  They are more likely to be affected by gall bladder disease and stroke as they grow up.  Incidence of gall stones is found to be higher in obese children.

Obese children usually suffer from orthopaedic complications.  Fatty liver disease (FLD) is another disease which may affect obese children.  Childhood obesity may lead to heart related ailments.  Obese children suffer sleep related problems.  They are easy victims of cancer.  They are more likely to suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems.  Childhood obesity is one of the reasons for early puberty.  It may also cause eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.  It is observed that obese children are more likely to suffer from skin related problems.  

Childhood obesity should be dealt with seriously.  Otherwise it may ruin the health of an entire generation.  Parents should ensure that their children are consuming a well balanced diet full of essential nutrients.  They should discourage their children from consuming junk food.  They should also ensure that the children are physically active.  Schools should include lot of physical activity for children.  Governments all over the world should educate the masses on health risks of childhood obesity.  Our children are our future and it is our responsible to do our best to make sure that they grow up to be healthy human beings.

Reference:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

http://www.who.int/topics/obesity/en/

http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/obesity/

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