All You Need to Know About Childhood Obesity

All You Need to Know About Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is prevailing at a fast pace in America. According to a report by CDC, in the years 2017-12018, the obesity rate was 19.3% among kids and adolescents which means the count was nearly 14.4 million.

Why are obesity rates among kids so high?

A number of factors can contribute to this expanding health issue among kids. It can be named from diet to genetics. Below written are the major reasons behind rising obesity in kids:

Diet: Kids are always tempted more towards sweet and sugary eatables. Eating high-calorie and junk foods more often can make your child gain weight and reach a level of obesity.

Physical Activity: Gone are the days when kids used to play outdoors. The modern lifestyle is more sedentary. With the rise of technology, televisions, laptops, and mobile phones came into existence. Kids spend most of their time in front of the screens and do not do any physical activities. As a result, they are becoming fat.

Genetics: Many kids are overweight or obese because of their genes. One's genes determine how their body grows, develops and what their body type will be. Through genes, it is possible to struggle with the same health issues as your older adults do. One of those can be weight management.

Parental Negligence: Most parents have busy schedules, and they overlook their kids. They are not aware of what type of food their kids are having and what their lifestyle is. Most kids are stubborn, and parents fulfill all their requirements without understanding the impact it will have on their health. Parents must take care of their kids' nutritional needs.

What can obesity do to the health of kids?

Being obese can pose severe health risks to the growing generation. Some of the major health concerns are listed below:

How do you know if your kid is overweight or obese? 

To determine whether your child is obese or not, you should check their Body Mass Index (BMI). It is a calculation based on a kid's height and weight to find the estimate on the body fat of the subject. During the growing age, the BMI of kids is determined to change.

Kids who are at or above 85 percentile on the CDC growth chart are considered overweight and obese.

Kids who are at or above 95 percentile and above on the CDC growth chart are said to be extremely obese.

What can be done to control obesity in kids?

Developing healthy eating habits: When your kid(s) is hungry, offer them fruits and vegetables or healthy snacks instead of junk food. It is completely understandable that kids will not accept these, but exposing these healthy foods to kids regularly can help them develop a taste for them.

Help them stay active: Regular physical activity brings fun and joy and promotes physical and mental wellness. Kids aged 3 to 5 years should stay active throughout the day, while children between 6 and 19 years of age should spend at least 60 minutes in physical activity. Staying physically active will help kids strengthen their bones, maintain blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety, increase self-esteem, and promote weight management.

Ensure adequate sleep: You should keep a check on your kids' sleep. Too little sleep is also associated with weight gain. On the other hand, as compared to adults, children need more sleep, and the amount varies from age to age:

Newborns (0-3 months): Minimum sleep required 14-17 hours each day
Infants (4-11 months): Minimum sleep required 12-15 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years): Minimum sleep required 11-14 hours
Pre-schooler (3-5 years): Minimum sleep required 10-13 hours
School-age children (6-13 years): Minimum sleep required 9-11 hours
Teenagers (14-19 years): Minimum sleep required 8-10 hours

Be an idol for kids: As a parent, teacher, or guardian, you can set an example for your kid(s) o live a healthy life. We all know that kids are like a sponge; they absorb what they see and hear. We can teach them healthy habits by implementing them on ourselves. Set an example for your child by regularly working out or going for a walk, lessening your screen time, or going swimming with your kid.

The Bottom Line

Although childhood obesity is a major concern among Americans, necessary guidance and the right steps at the right time can help in curbing this issue. Parents, teachers, and guardians must support kids in overcoming this health challenge.