Childhood obesity is a major public health crisis, it increases the risk of premature illness and death later in life.
Ask your doctor
- When your kid is considered overweight or obese.
- Overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and below the 95th percentile, Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex.
Statistics about childhood obesity
- Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese.
- The prevalence of obesity among U.S. youth was 18.5% in 2015–2016
- 13.9% of children between 2-5 years are obese
- 18.4% of children between 6–11 years are obese
- 20.6% of adolescents are obese.
- Rates of overweight and obesity have been steadily increasing among Arab Americans, a rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population. Previous research from 1988 showed that about 28% of fifth grade Arab American youths in the state of Michigan were overweight and about 17% were obese.  How these estimates have changed over the last 3 decades is unknown.
Factors contributing to childhood obesity
- Unhealthy diet: More sugar drink, fast food, less fruit and vegetable intake
- Increased television viewing time: the more watching TV the higher the BMI
- Low physical activity life style
- Parental obesity increases the chance of having an obese kid. If one parent is obese the kid has 40% risk of developing obesity this risk increases to 80% if the two parents are obese and decreases to 10% if none of the parents are obese.
How childhood obesity can affect health
Obese children and adolescents have higher risk of developing:
- High cholesterol level
- Type II diabetes
- Besides many psycho-social problems like depression, social discrimination, and low self-esteem.
TIPS TO AVOID CHILDHOOD OBESITY:
- Encourage healthy eating habits
- Limit sugary sweetened beverages
- Provide plenty of fruit and vegetables and whole grain products
- choose low fat product, lean meat
- Drink a lot of water
- Reduce screen time to less than 2 hours a day
- Increase physical activity to at least 1 hour a day.
Ogden, C.L., et al., Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2011-2014. NCHS Data Brief, 2015(219): p. 1-8.
Ahmed I, A.N. The Arab American Family. 1988; Available from: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/childhood-obesity-and-arab-american-youth-2376-127X-1000e110.php?aid=48599.