Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a child as being overweight as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) at or above the 85th percentile but below the 95th percentile, and childhood obesity is defined as having a BMI at or above the 95th percentile. BMI can be calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms over the square of height in meters. Or visit http://www.bmi-calculator.net/ to calculate BMI.

Factors contributing to overweight and obesity in youth include eating habits and genetics. With poor examples through advertisements for fast food locations and unhealthy foods, the market is inundated by a community of poor health.

Other factors include the increase of physical inactivity with the development of technological media like gaming consoles and tablets. Varied television programming also contributes to keeping children indoors rather than outside playing sports and moving.

Causes and repercussions of children being overweight and obese can lead to a lifelong struggle with weight issues, high blood pressure and cholesterol, increased risk of diabetes, breathing problems like sleep apnea and asthma, joint problems, and so many other health factors. Mental instability to include depression and low self-esteem or an overall low quality of life also greatly affects children struggling with being overweight or being obese.

One of the biggest ways to impact youth struggling with weight issues is to lead by example. Parents and guardians can make healthy choices when grocery shopping or choosing weekend activities, which will influence their children to make the same healthy choices. By creating a healthy environment at home, children have the opportunity to flourish and grow.