Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity
There are many reasons that we are seeing more overweight children than we used to. Portion sizes when eating out are larger, kids often get less exercise. More time is spent in front of the TV and computer. One out of five kids is now overweight, and they are at risk for being overweight adults.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A

    Children start out with high body fat and tend to get leaner as they age. Girls and boys' body compositions differ as well. To take age and sex differences into account, scientists have created a special BMI for children, called BMI-for-age.

    Using a set of growth charts, doctors track the development of young people ages 2 to 20. The BMI-for-age figures in height, weight, and age to determine how much body fat a child has, comparing the results to those of others of the same age and sex. The calculation can help predict whether children will be at risk of being overweight when they're older.

    For example, the normal BMI range increases for girls as they mature, because teenage girls normally have more body fat than do boys that age. A boy and girl of the same age might have the same BMI, but the girl's weight could be normal, while the boy could be at risk of being overweight.

    Doctors stress that it's important to track a child's BMI over time rather than looking at one discrete number, because children can experience growth spurts.

  • 5 Answers
    A
    The body mass index, or BMI, for children is calculated with the same standard formulas as those used for adults. The standard formulas are BMI = weight (kg)/height (m)^2, or BMI = weight (lb)/height (in)^2 x 703. In children, though, the BMI is interpreted not as an absolute value, as it is with adults, but as a percentile. This is the case because children's BMIs differ with age and gender due to the amount of body-fat changes that occur with age. The calculated BMI can then be used to determine the percentile that it falls on by using a BMI-for-age growth chart available through the CDC's website.
    See All 5 Answers
  • 5 Answers
    A

    High body mass index (BMI) is the primary indicator of childhood obesity. The designation obese is given in the case of a BMI above the 95th percentile. Possible consequences include diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, asthma, sleep disorders, and early puberty due to hormonal imbalances.

    See All 5 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A

    Children with a high BMI may be presented with difficulties in life.  Not being able to be as active as some of the other children may make your child not want to go outside and play, instead they may want to stay inside.  Being overweight can lead to a decrease in self-esteem which should be avoided as often as possible at a young age.  Focus on feeding your children healthy meals, remember, they are what they eat.

    See All 2 Answers
  • 9 Answers
    A
    Body mass index (BMI) does matter for children. BMI is a simple, inexpensive and noninvasive method for screening for weight-related health risks. Children’s BMI scales differ from adults', depending on gender and age, and are based on percentiles but can be a useful screening tool for children as young as two years old through 18 years old.
    See All 9 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Nursing, answered

    One important observation in weight control is knowing if your child’s weight is within normal limits. A recent study determined that almost half of women with overweight or obese children believed their children were a normal weight.

    The study, from Columbia University Medical Center, asked women to estimate their body size. Researchers computed their real size. They found that 82 percent of obese women underestimated their weight. Eighty-six percent of overweight or obese children did. In contrast, only 13 to 15 percent of normal weight people underestimated.

    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    If your child is overweight, reducing his sugar intake is important even if you’re still working on cutting his total calorie consumption. A study found that children who are overweight are more likely to have a metabolic disorder, such as high blood glucose and/or cholesterol levels and increased blood pressure, and consuming less sugar improves those conditions. Forty-three volunteers between ages 9 and 18 who were obese and had at least one chronic metabolic disorder, such as high triglyceride levels, were enrolled in the study. During a nine-day trial, the volunteers followed a low-sugar diet that included enough calories to maintain their weight. As a result, the participants saw a decrease in their blood pressure, along with LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and blood glucose and insulin levels.

    Trinity Health recognizes that people seek medical information on a variety of topics for a variety of reasons. Trinity Health does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. As a Catholic health care organization, Trinity Health acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition.

    Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Nutrition and Kids: Exercises for Children
    Dr. Rick Kellerman offers a variety of daily exercises to help parents keep their children healthy and avoid obesity.


  • 3 Answers
    A
    Parents and caregivers can use the following strategies to help prevent childhood obesity and keep kids healthy:
    • Follow the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and limit media time for kids to no more than one to two hours of quality programming per day whether at home, school or child care.
    • Visit the child care centers to see if they serve healthier foods and drinks and limit TV and video time.
    • Work with schools to limit foods and drinks with added sugars, fat and salt that can be purchased outside the school lunch program.
    • Provide plenty of fruits and vegetables, limit foods high in fat and sugars and prepare healthier foods at family meals.
    • Serve your family water instead of drinks with added sugars.
    • Make sure your child gets physical activity each day.
    The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.
    See All 3 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Psychology, answered
    The results of a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association indicate that every additional hour of sleep young children receive can reduce their risk of being overweight. Researchers in New Zealand studied the sleep habits and weight changes of 244 children between the ages of 3 and 7. To investigate the relationship between sleep and weight, they measured the children’s height, weight, BMI, and body composition. They also tracked children’s sleep, physical activity, and diet at ages 3, 4, and 5. What did they find?
    • Kids who slept more between the ages of 3 and 5 had lower BMI at age 7 than their counterparts who slept less.
    • Kids who slept more between ages 3 and 5 were also less likely to be overweight at age 7 than their peers who slept less.
    • Because the researchers measured body composition (the body’s proportions of muscle, fat, and bone mass), they were able to determine that the lower BMI was due to less fat, not to an increase in muscle and bone mass.