Childhood Obesity

Obesity in children is assessed by comparing their BMI to that of
other children their age and gender. This differs from how adults
are classified as obese, which is based entirely on BMI

Percentile Range of BMI




5% to <85%

“Normal’’ weight

85% to <95%

Over weight

95% or over


Childhood Obesity Causes
At the most basic level, children, like adults, become obese when they consume more calories than their bodies require, a condition known as "energy imbalance."A multitude of factors, including genetics, hormones, metabolic composition, and medical issues, can contribute to this. Obesity in children is generally caused by a complex combination of these and other factors such as nutrition, lifestyle, and environmental situations.
In addition to excessive body weight, typical signs and symptoms of

Childhood obesity include:

• Shortness of breath
• Fatigue
• Increased sweating
• Sleep apnea and snoring
• Joint pain
• Dislocated hips
• Flat feet and knock knees
• Skin rashes and irritation
• Stretch marks on hips, abdomen, and back (though these can occur in     non-obese children as well)
• Acanthosis nigricans, which is dark, velvety skin around the neck and in other areas
• Fat tissue in the breast area (which can be particularly challenging for     boys)
• Constipation
• Gastroesophageal reflux (also called acid reflux)
• Early puberty in girls
• Delayed puberty in boys

Behavioural Factors

These might include:

• Eating high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages like     fast-food, snack foods, candy, and soda        
• Eating too much food
• Spending too much time sitting down watching TV or using a computer, tablet, or phone
• Not getting enough exercise.

Genetic Factors:

A child has a greater chance to become fat if at least one parent is obese. (However, if obesity runs in the family, there are several strategies for parents to assist their child lower their risk.)

Several uncommon genetic diseases can cause childhood obesity, either by producing persistent hunger, which leads to overeating, or by modifying the way fat is accumulated in the body.

These are some examples:
• Prader-Willi syndrome
• Pro-opiomelanocortin deficiency
• Leptin receptor deficiency
• Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS)

Risk factors:
Many factors usually working in combination increase your child's risk of becoming overweight.

Diet: Consuming high-calorie items on a regular basis, such as fast food, baked goods, and up selling snacks, might lead your child to gain weight. Candy and pastries can also contribute to weight gain, and there is substantial evidence that sugary beverages, such as fruit juices and sports drinks, are contributing factors to obesity in certain people.

Lack of exercise: Lack of physical activity. Children who do not exercise regularly are more prone to acquire weight because they do not burn as many calories as those who do. Sedentary activities, such as watching television or playing video games, add to the condition as well. 

Family factors: If your child comes from an overweight family, he or she is more likely to gain weight.

Psychological factors: Personal, parental, and family stress all can increase child’s risk of being obese. Some children overeat to deal with problems or emotions, such as stress, or to avoid boredom. Their parents may have similar traits.

Socioeconomic factor: Some community residents have limited resources and access to stores. As a result, individuals may choose for non - perishable convenience foods such as frozen dinners, crackers, and cookies.

Certain medications: Some prescription drugs can increase the risk of developing obesity. They include prednisone, lithium, amitriptyline, paroxetine (Paxil), gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant) and propranolol (Inderal, Hemangeol).

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