Child Obesity

How to prevent childhood weight problems

Childhood obesity has been on the rise for years and it has reached a point where if society carries on this way, our children will be the first in history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) indicate that more than one in five children and adolescents in the United States are overweight.

Nature

Though there are some genetic diseases that predispose children toward obesity, these disease are uncommon and only account for approximately 10 percent of childhood obesity. These include diseases such as Prader-Willi syndrome where obesity, insatiable appetite and mental retardation are symptoms. For more information on genetic diseases and hormonal causes for obesity, visit the American Academy of Family Physicians website.

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Nurture

The causes that surround the issue of childhood obesity can mostly be attributed to lifestyle. Lack of exercise and eating too much accounts for 90 percent of the obesity problem in America.

Overweight children have an increased risk of succumbing to type two diabetes and of developing heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer later in life. These risks make it increasingly important to get a handle on childhood obesity.

Whether your child is overweight, at risk of becoming overweight or is currently at a healthy weight, there are measures you can take to ensure a healthy lifestyle: