Seven years ago the Surgeon General released a report in the United States outlining the crisis of obesity our country had fallen into. The objective behind this report was to try and generate ways towards taking care of this health problem. Unfortunately the statistics do not seem any better today and millions of children are excessively overweight or obese with no hope of ever being normal again. If you believe this problem will just go away you might want to take a closer look at the dangers of childhood obesity.
Severe health conditions associated with childhood obesity
The number one danger in childhood obesity today is the increasing number of health conditions that arise in obese children. A child that is excessively overweight has more chances of getting some of the most severe and deadly health conditions out there:
· Type II diabetes has many doctors worried as it can be a disease that was generally found in only adults. However as children continue to become more and more overweight, they are more likely to get it. Type II diabetes can be very difficult to treat and can even cause the body to develop an insulin resistance.
· Heart disease and high blood pressure are other health conditions that children are more likely to get when they are obese.
· Joint problems
· Sleep disruption
· Liver problems
· High cholesterol
Emotional and psychological conditions associated with childhood obesity
Not only does childhood obesity lead to some serious health conditions, it can also increase the chances a child will have at experiencing emotional stress and psychological trauma. Children are sensitive to their peers, and let’s face it; peers can be rough and tough. Emotionally, a child who is excessively overweight has a high chance of discrimination by peers and quite simply getting made fun of every day they go to school. This can really take its toll on any child and can cause several chain reactions in their emotional state. Self esteem is a major concern among children without obesity problems. Can you imagine what it does to a child with obesity problems? Psychologically, obese children are more likely to suffer from depression and low self esteem. And things don’t just stop there. As obese children are more likely to become obese adults, these same problems carry with them into adulthood. Obese adults tend to earn less money in the adult world and are less likely to pursue higher education or marriage.
Physical limitations associated with childhood obesity
Of course the most obvious dangers of childhood obesity are some of the physical limitations that are placed on a child. Children should be carefree; they should be able to lift their own weight (for the most part); they should be able to run around at recess time with their friends. Obese children however have trouble doing most, if not all of this. Their desire for exercise decreases, as well as their desire to play with friends and socialize. Physical limitations can have a devastating effect on the rest of their life. Not being able to run around with friends and play jump rope or ride a bike can also lower a child’s self esteem to the point of depression and suicide.
Taking preventative measures that help children become aware of the dangers of obesity as well as teaching them how to live a healthy and active life, can save them from a road of despair and sorrow. It’s up to adults to show the way and lead by example if we’re going to change the way our children behave and live.