Question

Childhood Obesity

What are the risks for children who are obese?

A Answers (3)

  • AJoan Salge Blake, MS, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    Family Rafting Trip

    One result of increased obesity among children is an associated increase risk and rates of type 2 diabetes, which used to be seen solely in adulthood. For children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, early intervention and treatment are a must. The sooner the family learns what the child needs to eat and how to manage all other aspects of the disease, the better off the child will be. In fact, the entire family should consider eating in the same fashion as the child, because managing type 2 diabetes involves moderation, variety, and balance.

    Physical activity is also a major part of managing diabetes, and everyone can take part in this as well. Taking a family walk or bike ride after dinner and enjoying weekend games of basketball or tennis instead of turning on the TV are excellent ways to teach the importance of physical activity. Plan "active" weekend activities such as visiting a park, hiking a mountain, and if possible, rafting.

    Family Rafting Trip
  • If your child is obese, he could be at risk for serious health problems, including diabetes and trouble breathing. Your child may be teased by other kids and feel bad about himself, which can make him feel sad and hopeless at school. Obese children are more likely to be obese as adults, placing them at higher risk of getting medical problems caused by obesity.

    Even with treatment, your child may gain weight again. Obesity medicines can cause side effects such as diarrhea (loose, watery bowel movements).

  • Obese children are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as elevated cholesterol or blood pressure. They are also more likely to develop prediabetes or have diabetes as an adult. They are more likely to have bone and joint problems from carrying extra weight. Additionally, they are at risk for social stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
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