Why Obesity In Childhood? | Healios

Why Obesity in Childhood?

Why Obesity in Childhood?

In adults, we know that obesity is due to lifestyle changes and junk foods, but it is shocking to know that obesity now is growing rapidly amongst children too. What is the cause for this rampant growth in Childhood Obesity?

There is a paradigm shift in nutrition of children. Earlier we use to see malnourished children, but now we see more chubby and obese children. There is a myth among parents that my child is not healthy if not chubby and they tend to overfeed the child.

Causes of Childhood Obesity:

The causes of childhood obesity are multifactorial. It is commonly understood that an imbalance between energy obtained from high calorie foods and energy expenditure results in obesity. The main causes for the rampant growth in childhood obesity are the role of genes, dietary and eating habits, physical inactivity and stress.

Obesity tends to run in families. A child with obese parent is more likely to be obese. A child may have similar facial features as its parents like eyes and cheeks, but at the same time it can be obese like them.

Nowadays with multiple foods easily available, children hardly like to eat home food. The dietary habits have shifted from eating fruits, vegetables, whole grain preparation to caloric rich(either loaded with fat or sugar) highly processed foods and drinks which just have calories and very less nutrition. Eating while watching TV or when not hungry can lead to weight gain.

Often eating out in various food joints is a major causative factor because of oversize portions of foods and beverages compared to before. These COMBO packs contain loads of calories and is most often equivalent to a sum of two to three meals at home. Apart from this, hanging out with friends and celebrations makes the child to emotionally overeat. Consumption of high fat and high energy (junk foods) and snacking in between meals is one of the major reasons for the children being obese.

It was noted that 50 to 80 percent of obese children would continue as obese adults and fall into risk group of diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease and other obesity related diseases.

The complications of adult obesity worsen if the obesity begins in childhood.

Modern lifestyles have become more comfortable. An increasing sedentary lifestyle with televisions, video games and mobiles is taking away children from outdoor sports. Now a days we rarely see children involved in outdoor activities. This has led to decrease in activity levels of children. Stressful events in life like examinations, issues with friends, family problems can lead to erratic eating behavior in children leading to overweight and obesity.

Health education should be given to parents, teachers and children regarding dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles.


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