Childhood obesity is beginning to affect more children. Many studies are finding many different contributing factors to the newest childhood disease: obesity. The term "childhood obesity" refers to both children and adolescents. To define the age differences between the two groups, "children refer to 6 to 11 years of age, and adolescents to 12 to 17 years of age" (American Obesity Association, 2005, p.1).
Studies have found increases in health risks associated with childhood obesity. Health concerns that once only affected adults are now becoming more prevalent in children. For example, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and hypertension are all on the rise in today's young America. The diagnosis and treatment of childhood obesity may seem simple enough but there are many factors that can lead to obesity for a child:Ã¢ÂÂ¢"Family history of obesity.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢Family history of obesity-related health risks such as early cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure levels, type 2 diabetes.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢Family history of cigarette smoking and sedentary behaviors.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢Signs in the child of obesity-related health risks from a pediatrician's evaluation including:oCardiac Risk Factors. Studies of children with obesity show higher than average blood pressure, heart rate and cardiac output when compared to children without obesity.
oType 2 Diabetes Risk Factors. This involves glucose intolerance and insulin levels that are higher than average.
oOrthopedic Problems. Some symptoms include weight stress in the joints of the lower limbs, tibial torsion and bowed legs, and slipped capital femoral epiphysis (especially in boys).
oSkin disorders. Some are heat rash, intertrigo, monilial dermatitis and acanthosis nigricans.
oPsychological / Psychiatric Issues. Poor self-esteem, negative self-image, depression, and withdrawal from peers have been associated with obesity.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢Patterns of sedentary behavior (such as too much television viewing) and low physical activity levels.
Ã¢ÂÂ¢Taller height - children with obesity are often above the 50th percentile in...