I’ve been asked recently for advice on dealing with obese children. This topic is particularly close to me due to having a background working with child athletes. It is also a subject that requires a team effort. Parents,Pediatricians, Dietitians / Nutritionists, Psychologists, Educators, Fitness Professionals and of course the child all have parts to contribute.
Obese children often grow up to be obese adults.
Obesity places a person at risk for a myriad of potential ailments.
Obese children are now showing symptoms, or even full-blown cases of diseases previously only seen in adult populations.
In a 2013 UCLA research study ” … found that obese children – those with a Body Mass Index (BMI)in the 95th percentile or above – are nearly two times more likely to have three or more physical or mental conditions than kids with a healthy weight.
Overweight children – those with a BMI in the 85th to 95th percentile – had about 1.3 times higher risk of developing adverse health conditions. Compared to their normal-weight peers, obese children were more likely to be in poorer health, have more disabilities and more emotional and behavioral problems, such as having to repeat a grade, missing school and other educational difficulties.
Children classified as obese were also more likely to have conduct disorders, depression,learning disabilities, developmental delays as well as physical ailments such as bone, joint and muscle problems, allergies, headaches, asthma and ear infections.”
Although fast food companies have made some efforts to “slim-down” their kids menu, the fact is I’m still bothered by this image.
References and Resources
Center for Disease Control
American Academy of Pediatrics
Academic Pediatric Association
Childhood Obesity Foundation – Canada
Health Promotion Board – Singapore
Dietitians Association of Australia
HBO Films: The Weight of the Nation (Part 3)
YouTube: Latino Childhood Obesity
YouTube: University of California-Davis on Childhood Obesity
Child BMI Calculator
WebMd – Talking to your child about Obesity
American Council on Exercise – Operation FitKids