Obesity is one of the most significant health problems in the developing and developed countries. An overweight adolescent has a 70 percent chance of becoming an obese adult, and obesity can lead to a higher risk of life threatening health problems like –
High blood pressure
Premature heart attacks
Emotional ramifications because of peer ridicule and lower self-esteem levels.
The additional weight can result in reduced endurance, leg pains from stressed joints and often make simple activities more taxing.
All this leads to “The Vicious Cycle of Childhood Obesity”.
It is believed that children are becoming heavier due to –
decrease in physical activity (modern transportation, television, computers and video games)
Increasing availability of higher calorie foods such as fast foods, higher-fat convenience foods and snacks.
Management of Childhood Obesity
An exercise program.
Behaviour counselling with family participation.
There is a rare genetic disorder that is related to childhood obesity. It is named Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects about one of every 15,000 people. Prader-Willi Syndrome has been recognized as the most common genetic cause of potentially life-threatening childhood obesity.It results from an abnormality on the 15 chromosome.The children have extraordinarily low metabolism and an insatiable hunger and insatiable urge to eat, which is beyond the control of the patient.
Other features of this condition are:
Low muscle tone and short stature
Small hands and feet
Poor motor skills
Reduced bone mineral density.
Delayed or incomplete sexual development
Mild to moderate mental retardation
Distinctive facial features (including a narrow face, small mouth, and full cheeks)