Recognizing Childhood Obesity
If you are a parent, teacher, or even a concerned caregiver, then chances are pretty good you have heard about childhood obesity. In fact, it seems like you can't turn on the radio, television, or even the computer without hearing about it in some form or another. Recognizing childhood obesity is the first step in being able to combat it. Here is some information that you can use to begin recognizing the signs, as well as how you can help deal those you care for deal with it.
- What is it? Simply put childhood obesity is where a child has such a high level of body fat that it starts to hamper daily activities and even the general health of the child. In clinical terms, it is where the child or adolescent is significantly above the "normal" weight for their age, gender, height, and so on.
- Symptoms. While the primary symptom of childhood obesity is fairly obvious (excessive body fat) some of the other signs and symptoms are not. Many of the other symptoms can only be viewed as a symptom of childhood obesity when taken in conjunction with a high level of body fat. These can include things like shortness of breath, getting easily tired, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and so on. If you feel that your child may be obese, do not make the diagnosis yourself. Rather, take your child in for a doctor's visit, and have them make the decision.
- Cause. In most, if not all, cases childhood obesity is a combination of factors, the first of which is genetic. Does your family have a history of obesity? If so that could be a major cause for your child. The other leading factor for childhood obesity is their environment. In this particular case this means whether they are getting enough exercise, eating enough healthy foods, and so on. Most often childhood obesity is a combination of these two factors.
- Treatments. Treatments for childhood obesity are rather simple in that they are the old standbys of proper exercise and a healthy diet. However, since too often adults think what is a healthy diet or proper amount of exercise is incorrect is only correct for a full grown adult, make sure that you are receiving proper guidance from a doctor.
If you believe that you, or someone you love, may have childhood obesity seek the help of a doctor. The reason for this is that children's bodies are still developing, and as such have a rather delicate balance that must be maintained. If dieting or exercise is undertaken without proper supervision by a child, then they can easily cause harm to themselves without even realizing it.