Childhood Obesity – The Onset of Disease

Children who are obese also turn to adults who are obese. Usually we think that it is just quite normal for a child to get fat, thinking that when he or she grows up, he/ she will automatically lose his/ her “baby fats”. This is not really the case though. In fact this is absolutely a wrong way to view it. The truth is the longer a child becomes overweight or obese, the harder it is to lose his or her fats as he/ she grows up.

And what does this all mean? Simply put, early onset of obesity also means early risk to non-communicable diseases, most specifically Type2 Diabetes.fat boy with burger

We all know that Diabetes is one of the most difficult diseases to treat or manage, and it eventually results to physically debilitating situations, amputation, kidney failure, and even blindness.

People with diabetes are at a high risk for mortality or dying early. This is a major cause of alarm for children and young teens that are obese or overweight and at risk.

Childhood Obesity Statistics

In Malaysia, the rate of childhood or teenage obesity (underage, below 18 years) is alarming at 38 percent or just short to almost half of the entire population. This is a major cause of concern for the Malaysian Health Ministry, and parents too should be worried because childhood obesity causes not just one but even more life-threatening diseases, not just Diabetes.

Health Effects of Childhood Obesity

Children who are obese are said to often suffer from breathing problems, increased risk to infections, ageing plus hardening of the blood vessels, high blood pressure, heart problems, and stroke.

Mental and emotional health problems also occur in relation to the child’s negative social experiences just because he or she is obese. For instance, kids that are obese are often taunted and bullied at school, and this result in low self-esteem, depression, and serious eating disorders.

What Causes Childhood Obesity?

To better prevent childhood or under-age obesity, it helps to determine its various underlying causes. Number one cause is having a parent who is also obese or overweight. The unhealthy eating habits of the obese parent are also adapted by the child, hence also causing him or her to become obese.

Non-obese or –overweight parents too can contribute to their child’s obesity. If the parents are non-vigilant as to what their kids are eating, for instance allowing their children to eat junk food, fast foods, or too much soda, then the result is also often obesity or excess fat in the body.

Lastly, the most common factor that contributes to child obesity is inactivity. Kids these days are now rarely very physically active as most only spend time watching TV or playing computer games. Children these days more than ever, spend more time sitting down than running around playing. This results to excessive accumulation of fats in the body, eventually leading to a serious case of obesity.

If you want your child to be free from diseases and have a longer life-span, help him/ her manage his weight by adapting a healthier lifestyle. Remember, good habits should start early in life.

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