Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat affects the health and well being of a child. Obesity is often determined by Body Mass Index also known as BMI. Body Mass Index is used for ages two and up. Obesity is becoming a serious public health concern.
Obesity is caused for many reasons. If one parent is obese, there is a fifty percent chance the child will be too. If both parents are obese, there is an eighty percent chance that the child will also be obese. Obesity occurs when a person eats more calories than the body burns up. The average American child spends most of their time playing video games, watching television, or playing on the computer. Few calories are burned while doing these things. Children and Teens eat a lot of snacks and fast food. Parents have a lot to do with the cause of obesity, because they eat the way there parents do and it’s not always healthy.
Obesity is usually determined with two different tools, including growth charts and Body Mass Index. Growth charts are used by pediatricians to follow a child’s growth over time. Growth charts can also be used to predict the expected adult height and weight of a child. Growth charts are different for boys and girls, because of puberty. Body Mass Index compares someone’s height and weight. Though it doesn’t actually measure the percentage of body fat, it is a useful tool to estimate a healthy body weight based on how tall a person is. However this isn’t appropriate for the final diagnosis of obesity.
Overweight children who are still growing don’t necessarily need to lose weight but simply maintain so that they can grow into their weight. The earlier a child is diagnosed as being overweight or at risk the easier it is to treat. Because it's hard to permanently change diet and exercise habits, it's smarter to do something sooner than later. The main way to treat obesity in children is to help them eat a healthy diet and encourage...