Childhood obesity is a severe health issue. It comes about when a child weighs more than usual for his or her age and height. Kids categorized as obese and having a high BMI are prone to serious health risks. It does not just affect the physical health of the child but harms mental well-being. Obese children and teens are highly likely to have poor self-esteem and self-image.
Physical health and mental health are inseparable as one affects the other. Poor physical fitness leads to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Likewise, poor mental health negatively impacts the physical health of a person. Childhood obesity can be a cause and effect of bad mental health. Read on to understand the link between the two.
Causes of childhood obesity
The most common cause of childhood obesity is an unbalanced diet. Eating large portions of food containing high sugar and fat levels and fewer nutrients can lead to quick weight gain. Fast food, frozen meals, canned items, etc., contribute to obesity.
Lack of exercise
Another cause of childhood obesity is the absence of physical activity. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight by burning the calories you consume. Children who do not engage in sports or other physical exercises are more likely to become obese.
Boredom, stress, and depression can often lead kids to become inactive, develop eating disorders, and result in unhealthy weight gain.
Genetics and eating disorders
The presence of certain genes increases the risk of obesity in some children. Eating disorders can also have genetic roots and lead to childhood obesity.
Constant snacking, spending too much time on gadgets, exposure to ads for junk food, lack of sports and games, etc., lead to the development of a sedentary lifestyle, eventually contributing to obesity in children.
Effects of childhood obesity
Serious medical conditions
Overweight children suffer from a higher risk of having severe medical issues such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, etc. In many cases, losing weight can reverse the conditions. However, some issues can be life-threatening.
Obese children may also suffer from sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea and excessive snoring.
The more you weigh, the more the chance of suffering from joint pain and musculoskeletal discomfort. Kids and teens who are overweight may be prone to joint pain, stiffness, and a limited range of movement as they carry around excessive weight.
Anxiety and depression
Being obese opens up a child to a lot of bullying and marginalization. These lead to social anxiety and depression that can further impact a child’s health negatively.
Low self-esteem and negative body image
Obesity has been called one of the least socially acceptable conditions in childhood. Having a physique that does not adhere to ‘societal standards’ lowers a child’s self-esteem and leads to a negative body image.
Being bullied and having low self-esteem can result in the child lessening social interactions and other activities. This aggravates the problem further.
Most often, obese children grow up to be obese adults. Obesity in adulthood is a more severe condition as they are at a higher risk of facing health problems. For more information regarding the issue, reach out to us at IBO, the leading medical center in Sharjah. Our pediatricians in Sharjah will help your child in dealing with obesity and related troubles. With the assistance of dietitians, nutritionists, and the best pediatricians in Sharjah, your child can lead a happy and healthy life.