Exploring the Problem of Childhood Obesity

We know that our country is facing a real epidemic and that this is childhood obesity. A child is considered obese if their weight is much higher than what is accepted for their height and age. Worryingly, combating obesity in children is even more difficult than combatting it in adults, and the health problems are as big as those for adults.

Frightening Statistics of Childhood Obesity

While most Nassau NY weight loss surgery is focused on adults, more and more children are starting to look into the procedures as well. This is worrying, but the other statistics on childhood obesity are even worse. We know, for instance, that some 60% of children in this country are now obese. We also know that 40% of obese children become obese adults, as do 70% of obese adolescents. This shows that a window of opportunity does exist between childhood and adolescence. If a child is obese and older than six, however, their chance of being an obese adult is 50%. The window of opportunity, in other words, is closing.

Bullying of Obese Children

Bullying in this country is a very significant problem, with too many people still seeing it as some childhood play. In reality, however, bullying is contributing significantly to the obesity epidemic. Obese children are more likely to be bullied, lowering their self-esteem and making them at even greater risk of becoming more obese. This is because they shun places where they could get bullied, including sports classes. Furthermore, bullied children feel lonely and become depressed and this can lead to them eating even more for comfort.

What Parents Need to Know

As a parent, you must understand the effect of bullying on your child’s emotional and physical health. If your child is obese, they are also more likely to be bullied and this, in turn, makes it more likely for them to experience health problems later in life. You must be able to recognize the signs of bullying, as it is unlikely that your child will come to you and talk about it. Look for stress, depression, withdrawal and submissive behavior, for instance. But most importantly, help them to fight obesity.

You can do lots of things if you are worried about your child’s weight. For instance:

  • Control their portions. Make sure you serve them their food and that you follow the Eat well plate in terms of what should be on it. Don’t be tempted to give them more, even if they say they are hungry.
  • Don’t ban snacking. When you ban something, it becomes more interesting and desirable. Instead, try to encourage healthy snacks by no longer buying processed, fatty junk. And make a snack like a fast food outing a treat for something, rather than a regular occurrence.
  • Get them off the couch. Your child is likely to love playing video games. There is nothing wrong with that, but they must also do other things. If their self-esteem is already so low that they don’t want to venture outside anymore, get them some computer games that encourage behavior, such as those you can find on Xbox Kinect and Wii U.

 

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