Today, one in five children in America ages 6-19 are overweight. Children who are overweight at a young age are at higher risk of being overweight when they become adults. Not only does being overweight increase your child’s risk of developing numerous physical health complications now and in the future, it can also harm self-image and add psychological stress to adolescent children.
Since the 1970’s, the number of childhood obesity cases has more than tripled. Today’s children are subject to a large number of snacks and foods that are high in fat and sugar, along with larger portions.
Add that to the popularity of sedentary activities like watching television, playing video games, or using the computer, and a child’s caloric intake rises while their calorie burn decreases.
Other factors that may cause childhood obesity include:
Obesity in children leads to the same diseases and conditions that overweight adults experience. High intake of sugary foods can lead to high blood glucose levels or diabetes, and the latter can lead to damage in the kidneys, eyes, and nervous system. Diabetes can also lead to:
Other risks associated with obesity come in the forms of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart attacks, as well as joint and back pain from increased stress on joints and the spine.
First, when you consult Dr. Nauman she’ll help you understand the factors that contribute to your child’s weight and construct a plan to reduce it while promoting healthier habits. Generally, that plan will require both parent and child to be mindful of what they eat and what activities they participate in.
Besides a more specific plan that Dr. Nauman can construct for you, there are general tips you and your child should be following. For example, eliminating high fat and high sugar snacks and drinks. You should also eliminate constant snacking. Even healthy snacks, if overindulged, can lead to unhealthy habits and increased weight.
Encourage your child to exercise or participate in some physical activity every day for up to 60 minutes. Outdoor activities also lead to social benefits, as they’re opportunities for making friends and building communication skills.
If you feel like you need help ensuring a healthy future for you and your child, contact Dr. Nauman at Advanced Pediatrics today!
We accept the majority of health insurance plans. Please call our office if you do not see yours listed or have any other questions.
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