We all know that childhood obesity is on the rise, in fact according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), it has more than tripled in the past 30 years!! This is astonishing to some, especially when you think of how you were as a kid constantly running around with energy through the roof (I’d do anything to have some of that energy back). Then you glance around at all the junk food and fast food that is everywhere today and it doesn’t seem so unbelievable that childhood obesity has tripled.
Obesity early in life as a child can make everything so much harder for them. Depending on the child’s size they may not be able to participate in childhood activities like they should (I mean this is the time in their lives when they should be engaged in activities and developing their personalities). Not to mention how much harder it is being the overweight child at school; unfortunately bullying exists and it can be so horrible for them. The problems that come from childhood obesity not only affects the child socially and physically (outwards appearance-wise), but it has detrimental affects on their health short-term and long-term.
- high cholesterol and high blood pressure
- sleep apnea, bone problems, joint issues
- psychological issues: low self-esteem
Long-term: (Childhood obesity is most likely to cause obesity as an adult)
- The list includes: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancers…
- REPRODUCTIVE ISSUES
A study published in the Science News yesterday, http://bit.ly/PlIk8Q, discussed how childhood obesity may affect fertility and the reproductive system later in life. The results had many implications that childhood obesity is affecting the reproductive system in a different way than what generations prior have experienced. Any extreme difference in body fat or caloric intake will change the natural process of the body’s systems; anorexia and obesity will cause changes to the reproductive system, but in different ways. Younger female children struggling from obesity are entering into puberty much sooner than their mothers or grandmothers had. While this will vary based on heredity, studies have suggested that endocrine signals from fat may be disrupting a neurohormone, kisspeptin- a hormone identified as a part of the reproductive system.
Another theory was the disruption of the body’s natural circadian clock from changes in the child’s diet. Despite these theories needing further research, the implications that a child’s diet will affect them later in life are clear.
Encouraging children at an early age to partake in an active lifestyle can help your child all throughout life, instilling healthy habits today for a healthy, happy tomorrow!