The Importance Of Childhood Obesity Prevention

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Childhood obesity statistics

The subject of childhood obesity prevention needs to be taken quite seriously. Not only can embracing a healthy lifestyle stave off serious physical conditions, but it will also have a positive psychological impact. Let’s examine the notion of childhood weight loss in more detail to better appreciate the big picture.

For the first time, childhood obesity is set to outnumber the underweight. This will have consequences for the physical health of the population. Let’s look at some statistics on childhood obesity to understand it better.

It was almost 5 years ago, in October of 2017, when the World Health Organization predicted a significant rise in childhood obesity. In fact, it was predicted that in 2022 the amount of obese children would outnumber those who are underweight. While this doesn’t sound crazy at first, it is truly a mindblowing statistic given the socio-economic differences throughout the world.

Over the last few decades, obesity rates amongst those ages 5-19 has been growing substantially. In 1975, there were only 11 million recorded cases of childhood obesity, compared to the 124 million cases identified in 2016. At the moment, 1 in every 5 children are obese or overweight.

Childhood Obesity Statistics

Causes of Childhood Obesity

While some believe that parents are the cause of childhood obesity, other factors can play a role. Unfortunately, the statistics we have mentioned paint a stark picture. Although it is possible to list 10 causes for childhood obesity (or more), we should instead examine some additional underlying factors which can have an impact upon childhood weight gain.

Parents Are The Cause Of Childhood Obesity?

Pediatric obesity can sometimes be attributed to the role that parents play. For instance, those who consume unhealthy foods are more likely to pass these habits across to their young ones. This is one of the reasons why instances of childhood and teenage obesity are on the rise.

Fast Food And Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity prevention is also related to fast food; a convenient and yet extremely unhealthy option in this day and age. Not only can fast food cause weight gain, but more profound long-term health effects will also occur if the proper approaches are not embraced.

A Lack of Exercise

Thanks in part to the digital revolution, many children prefer interacting with their smartphones as opposed to exploring the outdoor environment. A lack of physical play will inevitably contribute to obesity. When combined with a poor diet, the risks become quite clear.

Causes Of Childhood Obesity

Effects of childhood obesity

Quality childhood obesity prevention programs will always highlight the health risks that such a lifestyle poses. It is wise to examine some of the most dangerous.

Childhood Obesity Health Risks

Some primary concerns include high blood pressure, an unhealthy heart, circulatory issues and heightened risks of sustaining an injury (such as when falling down). Of course, these dangers only become more profound as the child continues to grow

Childhood Obesity And Diabetes

Numerous studies have linked infant obesity to decreased glucose tolerance and insulin resistance (2). Both of these are considered to be precursors to type 2 diabetes. The good news is that those who make lifestyle changes at an early age will be much less likely to suffer from such consequences.

Psychological Effects Of Childhood Obesity

The mental impact of childhood weight gain can be just as profound. Low levels of self-esteem, feelings of isolation and the inability to develop empathetic relationships may all take their toll.

Long-Term Impacts

Perhaps the most profound takeaway point is that the effects of childhood obesity will be felt for years or even decades to follow. This is why prevention is the ultimate key to success.

So, what can we do to combat childhood obesity?

Solutions for childhood obesity and its prevention

There are many childhood obesity solutions to consider. Some of these can involve formal prevention programs (such as those offered by specialists) while others dictate that changes should be made around the home. Of course, parents play a crucial role in this sense. While there may be times when professional intervention for childhood obesity is required, even simple modifications (such as replacing sugar-laden snacks with fruits and vegetables) will yield powerful results.

Children who are taught to embrace healthy habits early in life are much more likely to embrace these traits well into adulthood. Simply stated, childhood obesity prevention has never been more important than at the present. These are some of the tips you can take into account:

Childhood Obesity Health Risks

Develop Healthy Eating Habits From An Early Age

One of the essential ways to fight childhood obesity is to introduce healthy eating habits at a young age. By developing these habits early on, children are much more likely to continue eating properly as they grow older.

Here are a few easy tips to begin adjusting children’s eating habits:

  • We all know that children need to eat their fruits and vegetables. To make this a more enjoyable task, try incorporating some fun ideas into their daily fruit and vegetable intake to make this a more enjoyable task. My personal favorite was always the flying airplane fork!
  • Stick to low-fat or non-fat dairy products
  • When choosing meat, stick to the lean meats that will be healthier for your children
  • Limit sugary drinks and overall sugar consumption. You already know that fast food and childhood obesity are closely related.

By utilizing these tips to build healthy eating habits at a young age, we can strive to root our childhood obesity!

Reducing Sedentary Time And Staying Active

In addition to taking care of the diet in childhood obesity, staying active is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy weight. Not only will physical activity provide for a fun day outdoors, but it will also help with various health benefits such as:

  • Lowering a child’s blood pressure
  • Strengthening a child’s bones
  • Increasing a child’s self-esteem
  • Reducing a child’s stress and anxiety levels

For these reasons, children between the ages of 6 and 17 should be striving for 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

While we know how much children love their TV, reducing the amount of time they are sitting still will provide incredible benefits to their health. Try entertaining your children with more physical activity as opposed to screen time on the TV or another electronic device. Exercise is important for battling childhood obesity.

Have A Good Sleep And Rest

Additionally, the more physical activity a child receives during the day, the better they will sleep at night. Obtaining adequate sleep is another factor to battling childhood obesity. Below you can find the right amount of sleep for every age:

  • 3-5 years: 10-13 hours of sleep (including naps)
  • 6-12 years: 9-12 hours of sleep (including naps)
  • 13-18 years: 8-10 hours of sleep

With additional physical activity and adequate sleep, children will be much better suited to avoid weight gain.

Not letting them use phones or other screens close to bedtime will also help them get quality sleep. It has been shown that if you don’t sleep well, you may be hungrier the next day. So this would influence weight loss in childhood.

Childhood Obesity Solutions

Follow Spatz's tips for childhood weight loss

While the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon is not yet offered for children in the United States, the lessons that are taught by the Spatz3 can be helpful to children as well. So whether it’s developing long-term healthy eating habits, increasing physical activity levels, or choosing the right type of milk to pour in your cereal. Spatz is here to help!

If you are an adult, please apply these tips to the children around you. And, if you think you have a few extra pounds to lose, we invite you to learn more about the health and aesthetic benefits of the Spatz3 and to contact a local Spatz representative if you are ready to receive your gastric balloon.

In any case, always keep in mind the importance of childhood obesity prevention. It is essential for children to grow up healthy.

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