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Overweight and Obesity

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Overweight and obesity

Overweight is defined as an excess body fat. A diagnosis of obesity means that your weight stays way above the range of healthy weight for a given height. Overweight and obesity have strong impact on both physical and psychological health. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most common tool for diagnosing overweight. BMI test is easy to perform and it is a noninvasive technique which is used to figure out the relation between weight and height. Refer to resources to calculate the BMI of your child.

Causes

Obesity in children can occur as a result of different combinations of reasons, including environmental and genetic factors. Weight gain often occurs when a person consumes more calories than he/she expends. A large calories leftover in the body is typically needed to cause obesity.

Environmental causes of childhood obesity include insufficient calories expenditure through exercise, excessive snacking, fast food diet, family behavior, and body image.

Genetic causes of childhood obesity include genetic factors that affect a huge number of weight-related chemical processes in the body such as metabolic rate, blood glucose metabolism, fat-storage, hormones, and all influenced by our genetic inheritance.

Signs and symptoms

 Tiredness

 Breathlessness

 Difficulty with daily activities

 Have extra fat around the waist

 The scale shows you have gained weight

 Clothes feel tighter and need for a larger size

 Thickness around the midsection

 Increase BMI and waist circumference.

Facts

A Kidspoll by KidsHealth.org asked 1,168 boys and girls about the issue. More than half of them (52%) said too many kids are overweight. Sixty percents who took the KidsPoll said it was harder for overweight kids to make friends. Obesity affects 17% of children in the United States. In a prevalence study of obesity in children and teen in 2008, 27% Hispanic boys ages 6-11 were obese and 27% non Hispanic girls ages 12-19 were obese. These children are at risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and becoming obese adults. As financial cost tripled up to 3 billion dollars annually, advertisement and marketing on food and beverage advertisers collectively spend $10 to $12 billion annually to reach children. More than $1 billion is spent on media advertising to children (primarily on television). In addition, more than $4.5 billion is spent on youth-targeted public relations; and $3 billion is spent on packaging designed for children. Furthermore, fast food companies spend $3 billion in creating television ads targeted to children.

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