Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What Are the Risks of Child Obesity?

Sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits have lead to several health problems among children. They now battle a host of diseases usually found in adults. More and more kids suffer from obesity and most have no idea how to stay healthy. Neither do their parents if one goes by case studies. Parents start worrying only when children turn 15 or 16. Many believe that hormonal imbalances are the main reasons why kids are flabby but that is a very minute percentage, say pediatricians.
It is the lifestyle and the environment one grows up in that matter more. After school, kids used to play out in the field but today they go for the TV remote control or internet browsing. Aggravating the problem is the documented fact that when children watch TV they snack more, often on unhealthy junk foods that are high in salt and calories and low in fiber. With more parents working the already sedentary children are eating the kind of food that adds generously to their adipose tissues. Besides, children whose both parents were obese were more likely to be obese.

Today there are instances of adolescents with type 2 diabetes, more and more teens are developing high BP, high cholesterol and conditions preceding diabetes. Counseling the parents and kids is a major component to battle against child obesity. Usually a normal program lasts two and half months. Medical history of kids and their eating habits are both studied. Usually the wrong eating habit is the culprit for the children being fat say, majority of fitness experts.

Many children are taking the matter seriously. Certain hospitals are working on methods of reducing fat using electrodes. The idea is to make the person eat less by creating artificial impulses from the stomach to a pacemaker in the brain signaling that the stomach is full. Another method is cutting short the large intestine so that fat absorption is reduced. However, this leads to less minerals being absorbed. Hence it is not recommended for growing children, except in cases of morbid obesity.

For children, obesity is assessed by BMI (body mass index). It is obtained by dividing body weight in kilos by the square of height in meters. BMI over 25 - overweight child and over 30 - obese child

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

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Nick Mutt

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