Health Risks of Childhood Obesity
Breathing Problems – Other health risks associated with child obesity are asthma and sleep apnea. A large number of overweight children suffer from asthma. Obese children can also have trouble sleeping as a result of obstructive sleep apnea. This is a serious breathing disorder wherein the sufferer’s breathing is briefly interrupted during sleep. If left untreated, apnea can lead to heart failure.
Gallstones and Liver Problems – Children and teenagers who are obese are likely to have gallstones. Obese children are also at risk of fatty liver disease and liver problems that could lead to cirrhosis.
Metabolic Syndrome – It is estimated that 25% to 40% of overweight children will develop metabolic syndrome that could lead to diabetes and heart ailments. Metabolic syndrome linked to weight problems include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and abnormal lipid levels.
Future Health Risks – Child obesity carries health risks not only in the present but also in the future. Children and teenagers who are overweight or obese are more likely to become obese adults. Obesity in adults has a direct negative impact on their health and well-being. In addition to increased cardiovascular risk, adults who are obese are more likely to suffer from diabetes and to develop certain forms of cancer.
What You Can Do Now
Childhood obesity is a serious health problem that should be dealt with as early as possible. There are treatment options for obese children, such as diet and gastric bypass, but health professional believe that prevention is the best way to combat childhood obesity. Parents should provide a balanced and healthy diet for their children. They should also set a good example by leading a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious foods, and encouraging their children to participate in regular physical activities.
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