India, despite its status as a developing country, has found itself to be ranked second among the list of nations with the most number of obese children. Globally there are over 2 billion overweight and obese children and adults. More and more people are suffering from highly avoidable lifestyle issues cropping up because of their weight. The New England Medical Journal calls it ‘a growing and disturbing public health crisis’.
Obesity, also known as adiposity, is identified as an excess amount of body fat within the body. This, more often than not, is a consequence of lifestyle and dietary issues. Obesity comes with some serious consequences for both, children and adults alike. With children, however, things get more complicated. Obese children are not only at risk for a variety of physical ailments they also face some serious psychological issues.
Here are some of the major risks faced by obese children:
Definitely one of the most insidious and dangerous among the diseases of the 21st century, diabetes is a disease afflicting more and more people. Children that are overweight or obese are more prone to this disease. A research by Kings College London found that childhood obesity is directly linked with increased chances of contracting type-2 diabetes later in life. The research states that obese children face a four-fold increase in their risk for contracting type-2 diabetes.
This is a condition that is sets the stage for a variety of problems. This includes diabetes, cardiovascular problems among many others. Metabolic syndrome allows for an increase in abnormal lipid profile, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and many more. These problems, however, can be reversed by being careful about your diet and exercising regularly.
While it may seem hard to believe, early indication or atherosclerosis, or hardening of arteries, can begin during early childhood. This is the most common cause of heart disease and needs to be nipped in the bud right at the outset. This problem relates with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and these are directly associated with poor eating habits and being overweight. The only way to reverse this is to ensure that the child’s diet and exercise habits are monitored and managed well.
Being overweight may cause girls to reach puberty earlier than is normal. Studies around the world have shown that the average age of hitting puberty have been falling around the world. It has also been found that girls that are overweight are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with uterine fibrosis or menstrual issues at a later stage in life.
Being overweight or obese also comes with its own set of stigma. India has yet not been completely sensitized towards the scars body shaming can leave on a young mind. Many children that are overweight or obese are teased mercilessly and have been found to have hardly any social life. This can lead to serious trauma and dangerous behaviour patterns like depression.
There are a number of issues that can arise for a child dealing with obesity, and not the least of which are physical. It is important to understand that obesity and excess body fat can come with some serious repercussions. At Skooc we understand this and work towards sensitising parents and children towards these problems. It is only when we work on changing the habits of children is when we can actively curb this problem faced by the youth today.