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Obesity In Children Is Very Dangerous, Let’s Prevent!

Obesity or excess body weight in children is very dangerous, but now it is considered a must by parents. Adults often view overweight children as “cute,” “fertile,” or even “too well-nourished.” And, often the people around the children consider them cute and do not slightly pinch their cheeks gently.

There are still many adults who think that children who are overweight or obese need not worry because they are still growing. In fact the increase in the number of overweight and obese children aged 5–12 years is up to 18.8 percent. Not to mention the many health risks that lurk in children due to obesity.

It is important for parents to know, here are some of the dangers of obesity that can stalk children.

Obesity Obstructive Sleep Apnea

As explained on the Mayo Clinic page, children who are overweight have a higher risk of contracting respiratory diseases, such as asthma and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA is a respiratory disorder when a child repeatedly stops breathing during sleep. Fat deposits constrict the upper airway, making it more prone to blockages during sleep. Fat deposits in the abdomen make breathing faster and shallower.

Obesity in children

OSA has a major effect on children’s activities because it causes drowsiness during the day, neurocognitive deficits such as loss of concentration and memory, and decreased learning function. In school-age children, of course, this can have an impact on children’s achievements.

Obesity Joint pain

Childhood is the period of the fastest bone and muscle growth in life. Parents must make sure this runs optimally. Well, obesity can have a negative impact on the growth of children’s bones and muscles.

According to a report in the International Journal of Obesity, excess weight in children puts greater pressure on cartilage, so that the joint pads touch one another when the bones move. This can damage the cartilage and wear out the joints.

When cartilage is damaged in childhood, it can trigger osteoarthritis. Not only that, children with obesity are at a higher risk of experiencing fractures to bone deformities.

Menstrual disorders

In girls who are entering puberty, obesity is a separate problem that can cause menstrual disorders.

According to a report in the journal Annals of the Academy of Medicine of Singapore, girls with obesity experience menarche (first menstruation) earlier, usually before the age of 10.

Apart from experiencing menstruation faster, girls who are overweight are also at risk of having irregular menstrual cycles until the menstrual cycle stops. This is believed to be due to visceral fat in obese female adolescents triggering insulin resistance, so that they are more likely to experience polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and have excess levels of androgen hormones (hyperandrogenism) which affect the menstrual cycle.

Emotional Problems and Social Pressure

Children who are obese do have bodies that are “slightly different” from most children. In fact, obesity has been described as “one of the most socially unacceptable conditions of childhood”.

It is not impossible that children who are overweight will be ridiculed or bullied by their peers. These conditions can lower self-esteem and increase the risk of depression and anxiety.

Reports in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care state that children with obesity often face social problems such as negative stereotypes, discrimination, and are often excluded from activities, especially activities that require physical abilities.

Often children with obesity have difficulty in physical activity because they tend to be slower than their peers and experience shortness of breath. These social problems can lead to low self-esteem, negative body image, and decreased academic performance.

Impaired Academic Performance

Obesity in childhood also has a negative impact on children’s academic achievement. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association states that children who are overweight are 4 times more likely to experience academic problems at school than their normal-weight peers.

Obese children are also more likely to miss school, mostly due to health problems such as diabetes and asthma. In the end, this can affect academic achievement. Don’t let this happen to your little one, Moms.

Potential Health Problems As an Adult

Obese children also have a greater potential for chronic disease when they reach adulthood. According to a report in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, although most childhood obesity-related diseases are preventable and disappear when children reach a healthy weight, many children still experience obesity-related chronic diseases as adults.

Obesity in childhood has been linked to various medical conditions in adulthood, such as:

  • Fatty liver (fatty liver disease).
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Gallstones.
  • Disorders of balance and muscles.

In the past, the above health conditions were often only found in adults. However, nowadays several diseases are quite common in children with obesity. In cases of severe obesity, some of the health conditions above can result in a risk of death.

That’s a review of some of the dangers of obesity that lurk in children. Even though being overweight makes children look adorable, it is better to prevent obesity from now on so that your little one stays healthy and grows optimally. Healthy child, obesity free!

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