Obesity has reached what some feel is epidemic proportions in this country as well as around the world. Today nearly two thirds of American adults are considered overweight or obese. Even more concerning is that 15% of children in this country are considered overweight. Just a few decades ago this number stood at 4%.
We are starting to see diseases that were contracted in adulthood now affecting children and adolescents. Children that are overweight or obese have a much higher chance of dying of heart disease when they get older. This is even affecting the youngest among us with 10% of preschoolers being overweight.
Being obese has many risk factors for children. Childhood obesity is the leading cause of pediatric hypertension. It also increases the risk of heart disease, childhood diabetes, and osteoarthritis. But the most important consequence may be what is does as far as psychological pressure and peer pressure that may cause periods of depression in a child. Social and peer pressures that a child goes through are the main consequences of childhood obesity.
The causes of childhood obesity are a combination of factors that include genetics, family history, psychological and nutritional. It is true that not all obese infants will turn into obese children and not all obese children will turn into obese adults it is important to understand these risk factors.