Childhood obesity 

Childhood obesity is a major public health crisis, it increases the risk of premature illness and death later in life.[1]

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.
Childhood Obesity

    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. [4] 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:

  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol level
  • Asthma
  • Type II diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • 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. 

References

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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.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db288.pdf

 

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