What are the negative health outcomes associated with obesity? Overweight or obese children and adolescents are at risk for many health problems. Some of the negative health outcomes that may be more obvious to children and their parents are asthma, sleep apnea, skin infections, and complaints of joint pain. All of these are significant health problems and need attention by a doctor; however, in addition to these there are other serious health risks associated with obesity that may be less obvious to the child or parent, such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and Type 2 Diabetes. These conditions can have serious long-term health effects and may require ongoing medical treatment and management. The bottom line is obesity can cause immediate health problems as well as a number of very serious chronic health conditions. In addition, research indicates that obese children have lower self esteem and self confidence than their thinner peers. Low self esteem and self confidence have been linked to poor academic performance, fewer friends, and depression. For all of these reasons it is important to try and prevent childhood obesity and identify overweight and obese children quickly so they can begin treatment and attain and maintain a healthy weight.
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