Have you ever told yourself, “Just a little bit won’t hurt?” Maybe it is one extra trip to the buffet table, a dessert, a drink or a break from exercise. However, when the “little bit extra” contributes to obesity, the effects can be life threatening and children unfortunately are not exempt.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the obesity rate has tripled from a generation past and now affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States. That is alarming! What are also alarming are the physical, social and emotional effects that result from obesity. Our aim here is to shed some light on the risk factors of this issue so parents can truly be informed as to what lies ahead if the health of their overweight child is not taken seriously.
The risk factors that come into play are simple enough, yet serious if overlooked. Food is obviously top on the list. A steady diet of high caloric foods, snacks, fast food, candy and sugary drinks will increase the risk of becoming overweight. A lack of activity and family history, whether genetic physical attributes or poor habits handed down, also come into play. Psychological factors when kids overeat to help them cope with difficult circumstances may also be an issue.
The effects of obesity are major and could be life threatening. Obesity can result in high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. These symptoms are linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attack or stroke later in life. Breathing problems such as asthma and sleep apnea can arise as well as joint problems and hormonal changes that could cause early onset of puberty. Obese children are more likely to stay the same into adulthood, often with an even more severe problem.
Drs. Joel Brook and David Northcutt care about their patients in the Dallas, TX area. When obesity affects foot health, the team at Dallas Podiatry Works provides caring, individualized care to children and adults. Contact our office today at (972) 566-7474 in Dallas or (972) 943-3323 in Plano for more information.