Causes of obesity in children:
Causes of pediatric obesity differ from child to child and are still not fully understood. Factors such as genetics, environment and behavior seem to be the main causes.
Overweight children are at increased risk of developing:
- High blood cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Orthopedic complications
Recently, at my practice, I was shocked to see a 14 year old boy with a weight of 93 kgs and severely hypertensive. Parents of this child approached for a possible weight loss procedure to help his overweight and hypertension. It is only a matter of time that he will develop type 2 diabetes and other conditions mentioned above, if nothing is done.
Our role as parents
It has been shown that children with overweight parents are more likely to be obese. Experts believe that this is a leading cause for childhood obesity. Regardless of how big a role genetics plays, one thing remains very clear…
Parents are responsible for a child’s genes, diet and behavioral patterns.
The goal for obese children should be to maintain weight or reduce the rate of gain. Excessive calorie consumption and lack of physical activity are two of the major culprits and are controllable risk factors. Parents should take a pro-active role by asking their health care provider or school authorities to monitor their child’s BMI periodically (a least once a year).
At home, remember that parents and caregivers are a child’s best role model. If you’re staying active and eating a balanced diet, your children are more likely to follow your lead.