Obesity in Children/Adolescence

It's Not Just Stubborn Baby Fat!

What Determines Obesity?

The ranges in body weight are based on the body mass index (BMI). The BMI chart uses height and weight to determine one's BMI, where a BMI above the 85th percentile is overweight and above the 95th percentile is obese (Berk, 2010).




Who Has Obesity?

There had been an increase in overweight and obese children in the United States over the past several decades, with a significant increase in developing countries. Right now in the United States, 32% of children and adolescence are overweight while 11% of them are obese.


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What Causes Obesity?

Obesity is linked with heredity, although there is not one specific "fat gene" it has been found that some people are more susceptible to becoming overweight and it is harder for them to keep weight off. Parenting choices can also cause obesity in the child due to poor eating and exercising habits within the family. Other causes associated with this disease include SES, lower-income families buy cheap processed food that are unhealthy; sleep, and physical activity.


Why is Obesity so bad?

More than 80% of children who are overweight will also be overweight as adults! The health risks of being overweight include: high blood pressure and cholesterol, respiratory problems, diabetes, liver and/or gallbladder disease, sleep and/or digestive disorders, cancer, and early death. Children who are obese also struggle with social-emotional problems (i.e. bullies in school, low self-esteem) which can lead to social isolation, depression and/or behavioral problems.


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How Can I Prevent Obesity?

Children look up to their parents, so make it a family-oriented lifestyle change! Practice eating healthier and exercising more--do it together and make it fun! It is easier for children to lose weight than it is for adults to lose weight, so early intervention is important for your child and stay motivated and strong for them! Make it a habit to exercise everyday and change up the exercise mode to include a larger variety of activities and increase the fun!