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Sunday, 01 March 2015 12:02

What Are The Risks Of Childhood Obesity?

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Obesity means having too much body fat. Obesity increases the risk of health problems. Rates of childhood overweight and obesity have tripled since the 1980s. Our children face an unprecedented risk.

What Is Obesity?

The American Medical Association has recognized obesity as a disease involving excess body fat. Obesity increases the risk of other illnesses: heart disease, diabetes ("diabesity"), high blood pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities."

What Are The Risks Of Obesity?

Recent studies show that obesity can take up to 10 years off your life, and up to 20 "healthy-life years." There is also a psychosocial aspect. Negative sterotypes exist. Children who are obese or overweight may experience teasing and shaming because of their poor health. Obese children have a much higher risk of becoming obese adults.

What Causes Obesity?

Until now, treatment for obesity has been advice at the doctor's office to "eat less, get more exercise." This method proved ineffective. Recently, medical science has taken a look at obesity from biological and genetic aspects and come up with useful data.

For all the complexity of obesity-related illnesses, the cause of obesity is simple. We take in more calories than we burn. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, "At its most basic, of course, obesity results when someone regularly takes in more calories than needed. The body stores these excess calories as body fat, and over time the extra pounds add up."

Obesity results when someone regularly takes in more calories than needed.

What Causes Childhood Obesity?

The U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information on childhood obesity: "Childhood obesity is the result of eating too many calories and not getting enough physical activity."

The CDC lists several environmental factors:

  • Sugary drinks and snacks on school campus
  • Lack of exercise
  • Bigger portions
  • Limited access to healthy food
  • Too much TV!

How Can We Cure Obesity?

Until now focus has been on treating the symptoms of obesity (high blood pressure, high cholesterol) with medication instead of treating the cause through simple diet and exercise. WebMD reports that in one study, using a combination of proper diet and exercise, 10% were able to reverse the symptoms of diabetes, get off their diabetes medication and were no longer classified as diabetic.

As any dieter will tell you, changing bad eating habits is difficult. But making the right food choices is necessary for nutrition and overall health. For some it will mean a lifestyle change. For others, a simple schedule adjustment to avoid a fast-food meal.

About California Medical Weight Management

California Medical Weight Management is a highly successful, physician-administered, three-step weight loss system. The steps consist of rapid weight loss, support and maintenance. Patients have access to doctor and medical staff from the beginning.

To learn more about California Medical Weight Management or schedule a free consultation, please visit www.calmwm.com. Physicians can learn more about the program at www.calmwm.com/contact/partnership.

Sources

  • http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/obesity.html
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/business/ama-recognizes-obesity-as-a-disease.html
  • http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8483856
  • http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/12December/Pages/Obesity-could-rob-you-of-20-years-of-health.aspx
  • http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/reversing-type-2-diabetes
  • http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/problem.html
  • http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0601/p2591.html
  • http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/
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