Paediatrics

Obesity in Children – Causes and Treatment

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Child obesity is hard to deal with for parents. But when your child becomes overweight, you cannot afford to sit idle. You need to take immediate measures. But before that, it’s best to start off by learning the reasons for child obesity from the best pediatricians.

Reasons for Pediatric Obesity

There are multiple reasons to why a child may become obese. But you need to define obesity properly. Obesity is the measurement of the BMI or Body Mass Index of a person. For age group 2 to 19, a child/teenager is considered:

  • obese if BMI is above 95 percentile
  • overweight if BMI is between 95 to 85 percentiles
  • normal if BMI is between 85 to 5 percentiles
  • underweight if BMI is less than 5 percentiles

The main reasons why your child may become overweight or obese is because of:

  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Little to no physical activity
  • Genetic disorders
  • Psychological factors

Of the aforementioned reasons, the first two can be easily controlled while the latter two require counseling and possibly therapy. If your child is suffering from genetic disorders, then there’s very little you can do.

Our genes affect our body type and metabolism. So one child may eat the same food and remain lean, while another child of his same age group may eat a healthier diet but still remain overweight. But nevertheless, you should start the counseling and treatment process as early as possible.

If unchecked, the extra pounds gained can lead to health problems like diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems, high blood pressure among other serious conditions. On top of that, being obese can put physiological and societal stress on your child that can have irreversible negative impact.

Please note, BMI is a good indicator of total body fat, but can be misleading at times. Therefore, you need to consult the best pediatrician in your locality before making changes.

Treatment for Child Obesity

Best child specialists recommend making changes to the eating habits. Since parents have a deep emotional attachment with their children, they tend to overfeed them. Knowingly or unknowingly unhealthy foods loaded with calories seep into their everyday diet.

So, as a parent, you should watch what you feed your child. If you find junk foods like chips, cold drinks, burgers, fried chicken, French fries then replace them with healthier versions.

Second thing you can do is get your child to exercise. By exercising, he’ll start burning calories and ultimately lose fat. Signing him up for a local sports club is a good idea. Whether it be cricket, tennis, soccer, or hockey, he will get the environment that forces him to exercise on a daily basis and improve his lifestyle.

If the reason for obesity is a genetic disorder and your family has a history of obesity, then consult with a pediatrician. The experts will create a road map for your child to help him get out of obesity.

We’re one of the leading child specialists practicing in the pediatric domain. We can help your child lose weight so he can lead a happier life.

AUTHOR

Dr. M Muktesh

All stories by: Dr. M Muktesh
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