Childhood Obesity

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Childhood Obesity

What is Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity is a rather serious medical condition that affects children as well as adolescents. Childhood obesity refers to being above the normal weight recommended for a child’s age and height.

What are the Symptoms of Childhood Obesity?

Not all children above their recommended weight are considered obese or overweight. Some children could have body frames larger than average. Also, children tend to carry different amounts of body fat at different stages of development.

BMI (Body mass index) is a widely-accepted measure of overweight and obesity. If your child’s BMI is beyond the recommended range, it could indicate that he or she is obese.

What are the Causes of Childhood Obesity?

The primary cause of childhood obesity is lifestyle issues. However, genetic and hormonal factors can also cause childhood obesity. Some major causes and risk factors of childhood obesity include:

  • Diet – High-calorie foods such as fast foods, packaged foods, baked goods, candies, desserts, sugary drinks 
  • Lack of exercise – Sedentary activities such as playing video games or watching television
  • Family – A family history of being overweight and obese
  • Psychological factors – Personal, parental and family stress; eating to cope with boredom or stress
  • Socioeconomic factors – Limited resources and access to fresh and healthy foods or exercise facilities

How is Childhood Obesity diagnosed? 

To diagnose childhood obesity, your doctor will calculate your child’s BMI and check where it falls on the BMI-for-age growth chart and your child’s percentile. Your doctor will also consider other factors such as the child’s growth and development, eating habits, activity level, any health conditions, psychosocial factors and family health history to determine whether your child is overweight or obese.   

Your doctor may also recommend a diagnostic blood test to check for cholesterol, blood sugar, vitamin D deficiency, hormonal imbalances or any other conditions related to obesity. 

How is Childhood Obesity Treated ? 

Treatment for childhood obesity is provided based on the child’s age and presence of other medical conditions. Treatments are usually a combination of changes to the child’s eating habits and increased physical activity. Sometimes, medication may be prescribed for some adolescents as part of an overall weight-loss plan. For extreme cases, childhood obesity may be treated with weight-loss surgery. 

Apollo Support

Childhood obesity is a cause for concern as it can manifest into serious conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. At Apollo Clinic, we strongly recommend regular preventive check-ups for your child so that you can identify childhood obesity early on. We are well-equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, technology and amenities to diagnose and treat childhood obesity. Our team of highly skilled and experienced nutritionists, dieticians, paediatricians and support staff will provide best-in-class service in treating and caring for your child. 

 

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