Facts on Obesity

Obesity is the accumulation of excess or abnormal fat that may impair health. In adults, the BMI (Body Mass Index) is the commonly used index for weight and height classifications. The BMI of a person is measured by dividing his weight against in kilograms against his height in meters squared. In adults obesity defined as follows by the WHO;

• BMI greater than or equal to 25 as overweight

• BMI equal to or greater than 30 as obesity

Age in children plays a significant role in the definition of obesity. Children under the age of five years are considered obese if their weight-for-height is greater than 3 standard deviations in the WHO child growth standard median. The WHO Growth Reference considers children between the ages of 5-19 years obese if their weight-for-height is above 2 standard deviations.

Facts about obesity

In 2016, about 13% of the world’s population was considered obese where out of these figures, 11% were men while 15% were women. In the same year about 41 million, children below 15 years were obese, while 340 million children between the ages of 5-19 years were obese. Obesity has for long been considered a problem in high income countries, however things are now changing as there has recently been a rise in obesity in both middle and low income countries too. For example since 2000, there has been an increase in obesity related cases in Africa where the number has been escalating with an estimated value of 50% in children. In Asia, nearly half of the children under the age of 5 years were considered obese in a data collected in 2016. More deaths have also been linked to obesity and overweight as compared to deaths from underweight related issues.

Causes of obesity

Obesity is mainly caused by the asymmetry in energy levels between calories which is used up and that which is consumed. There has been a global increase in; (a) intake of foods that are energy dense and high in fats.(b) Increase in physical dormancy due to the desk bound nature of the structure of work, urbanization and different forms of transport. Environmental and societal changes have led to changes in both physical patterns and dietary. Lack of support of actions in the health sectors, agriculture, education and transport has also added to some of the changes seen.

A rise in the level of BMI results in a number of communicable diseases such as;

• Cardiovascular diseases (stroke and heart attack).

• Cancer (kidney and colon)

• Musculoskeletal disorders (osteoarthritis)

• Diabetes

The risk of the diseases has also been found to increase with an increase in the levels of BMI. Some disabilities and premature deaths have been linked to childhood obesity where children grew to adulthood with the condition. Obese children also have trouble in breathing, hypertension, and resistance in insulin, fractures increase and psychological effects. Obesity, overweight and other non-communicable disease can be prevented. A community and an environment, which is supportive, are key in the shaping of peoples choices. People can make the best choices in terms of eating healthier foods and regular physical exercises, which will culminate to reduction and prevention of obesity and overweight related issue. At individual levels, one can limit the intake of fats and sugary foods increase the intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains. Individuals should also engage in regular physical activities. In terms of promotion of healthy diets, the food industry can also play significant roles in that it can ensure;

• Processed food have reduced contents in levels of fats and sugar

• All consumers can afford healthy foods.

• Foods intended for children and teenagers have reduced sugar, fats and salts.

• Support of regular physical activities.

Childhood Obesity – 10 Mind Blowing Facts

I know that when you are studying obesity facts, it’s quite shocking all by itself. However, you must remember that knowledge with action really is power. You are getting ready to learn some information that can actually save your life or your love one’s, if you take what you are about to learn seriously. Once you know the signs to look for, you can begin working on a solution.

  1. Whenever you hear someone talk about hypertension, you automatically think about an adult being diagnosed with it. Well, I have some interesting news for you. This could not be farther from truth. Hypertension is definitely one of the risks of obesity in children as well.
  2. Here’s another shocker for you. Did you not know that when your child is overweight, it greatly increases the chances of them being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes? As a matter of fact, there are a lot of these children already in pre-diabetes status.
  3. How’s your child diet on a daily basis? Because even though a poor diet is not the only cause of this problem. It is certainly one of the major contributing factors. You know the old saying, you are what you eat. Well, I can’t think of a better phrase to use when it comes to what you allow your kids to put into their bodies. Please monitor their diets!
  4. How does your child feel about themselves? I’m sure you maybe wondering why I’m asking this question. Well, it is important to know that if your child is having some peer pressure problems or not feeling good about themself. This could lead to overeating. They will sometimes use food to comfort themselves.
  5. Yes, genetics and hormones do play a role to your children’s weight. But don’t think for once that it’s the only thing that leads to an obese child. There are many obesity effects that we can look at. But you must know all the facts if you want to solve the problem.
  6. Does your child complain about joint issues? This is very common in children that has to carry around a lot of extra weight. Some common problem areas are the lower back and knees. It’s really not fair for kids to have to deal with this!
  7. Strokes and Heart Attacks, are some more common crippling diseases that these poor children have to sometimes deal with. It’s really heartbreaking to think about any child having issues such as these.
  8. How often are you feeding your child fast food? The definition of obesity is simply eating to much of the wrong type of food. Just prepare meals more!
  9. Have you had your child’s cholesterol level checked lately? Because this is another issue that will go up very high when your child weight is not under control.
  10. How well does your child sleep? Many times when they are overweight they have trouble breathing, which actually will sometimes cause them to stop breathing momentarily. This is another one of those obesity health risks that’s not to be taken lightly.

Hopefully, these facts will help you to better monitor your children’s weight situation. A child at a time, this issue can be brought under control. All it takes is some parents that really love their children and don’t mind taking a little time and doing what it takes.

Are We A Fat Nation? Childhood Obesity Facts

As most everyone knows, childhood obesity is on the rise in America. It is estimated that tens of millions of children are either overweight or obese. What is the cause of this so-called epidemic? And how can parents and the medical world take control to lower the incidence of childhood obesity?

First of all, it is important to note that children, like adults, must burn the calories they consume. Of course, children, who are still growing, do need a little bit extra calorie-wise, to maintain proper growth. However, they do not need those calories from fast food and candy; rather, nutritious choices have fallen by the wayside in our on-the-go culture.

Couple the rise in junk food consumption with an ever-more sedentary lifestyle, sustained by the continued advent of new computer and video games, and there is a rise in childhood obesity. Just like adults, children must burn off excess calories. So, if a child is eating two thousand calories a day of junk food, and then never even breaking a sweat playing in the yard, it is no wonder that childhood obesity is a problem.

There are certain steps that parents can take to help ward off those excess pounds. Make nutritious choices for your children; left to their own devices, it is unlikely that children will choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains over sugar and fatty foods. Childhood obesity is an issue for anyone who does not insist that the entire family eat well-rounded meals.

If nothing else, understand that childhood obesity causes a number of other problems, physically and emotionally. Diseases once mostly seen in adults, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and the like, are now much more prevalent in children. This is directly linked to childhood obesity, in that the excess weight causes such strain on the body. Likewise, emotional trauma is endured by the teasing from the non-obese peers of overweight children. This can have lasting effects.

Overall, childhood obesity is a problem that is facing millions of families. The good news is that it can be fought and defeated, beginning at home. Only serve nutritious meals and snacks and encourage children to play and exercise. Perhaps one of the best ways to start fighting childhood obesity at home is to set a good example for your children. In this way, the whole family can enjoy healthier bodies and healthier lives.