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Childhood obesity

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Childhood obesity is more than merely a social problem that can result in taunts from peers. It is also more than merely being overweight and childhood obesity can affect their growth, development and future health. Obesity occurs when excess energy is stored as fat. Although children require a certain amount of excess energy for growth, problems occur when an excessive amount of fatty foods are consumed. Research from the World Health Organisation reveals that in 2010 two out of ten UK children between the ages of two and fifteen were obese. Although this statistic is shocking, the consequences of childhood obesity are even more so.

Our Children’s Health

If a child experiences obesity at a young age, as they grow they can experience high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, liver disease and studies have shown that even particular cancers are more prevalent in adults who suffered from childhood obesity. A child’s mental health can also be affected, with depression and bulimia cited as disorders commonly associated with childhood obesity.

Why is my Child Obese?

Genetics are rarely to blame for a child’s weight and it is highly unlikely a child will be overweight because it is an inherited trait. However, if a child’s parents are significantly overweight or obese, then it is probable that they will be too owing to lifestyle and influences from their home environment. Poor diet, combined with lack of exercise is the more likely cause of childhood obesity and if a child eats foods high in sugars and fats they are more likely to be obese.

What Can I do to prevent my Child Becoming Obese?

It is essential that children receive the correct amount of vitamins, minerals and proteins gained from eating a healthy, balanced diet. If you eat a nutritious diet your child is more likely to do so and the same ethos can be applied to an active lifestyle: make exercising a game both of you can enjoy. You can play a vital part in the health of your child by enjoying sports with them and a game of rounders or tennis each day will certainly keep you fit too! If this is not possible, another way to keep your child active is to enrol them in after-school sporting activities such as swimming or football.

childhood obesity

What Foods Should my Child Eat?

Slow release energy is the key to keeping stomachs full and children satisfied so choose starchy foods such as wholegrain pasta, brown rice and potatoes accompanied by plenty of vegetables for a vitamin boost. Include fruit with every meal: sprinkle blueberries on cereal, snack on bananas and apples, and give fruit for pudding instead of fatty cakes or sweets.

I am Worried about my Child’s Weight, What Can I Do?

It is sometime difficult to determine whether your child is in fact worryingly overweight, but your GP will be able to diagnose whether your child is obese or not. Your doctor will also for any underlying health issues which could be contributing to your child’s excessive weight gain. It is imperative that you seek medical advice before attempting to devise a restrictive diet for your child.

 

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About Denise Morgan

About Denise Morgan

Denise has five years' experience writing for various web-based companies. During this time she has also contributed to magazine articles and brochures. In addition to writing, Denise is a gigging singer/songwriter and is proud to have featured on the first series of BBC One's The Voice UK, having been selected by the great Sir Tom Jones. Denise is mother to the most talented and ridiculously intelligent two year old that has ever been and ever will be (until she creates another one that is). This kind of hyperbole is restricted only to her progeny and is not a reflection of her usual writing styles... Denise and her son live in Manchester along with their five cats - yes that's right, five.

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