Published on August 11, 2007
The Perils of Childhood Obesity: The Perils of Childhood Obesity Sandra Bastin, PhD, RD Assistant Extension Professor University of Kentucky Objectives: Objectives What are the health risks of obese children? What are the causes of weight gain in children? What are healthy weight solutions for children that are easy to put into practice? Childhood Overweight Definition: Childhood Overweight Definition Children at or above the 95th percentile of body mass index (BMI) by sex and age are considered overweight. BMI = Weight (kg)/Height2 (m) National Growing Prevalence*: National Growing Prevalence* Children Aged 6 to 11 Females Males White 9.2% 10.3% Black 16.4% 11.9% Mexican-American 14.3% 14.6% Children Aged 12 to 17 White 8.5% 11.1% Black 15.7% 10.7% Mexican-American 14.3% 13.7% *Troiana R, Flegal, KM. Overweight children and adolescents: Description, Epidemiology and Demographics. Pediatrics, 1998; 101(3): 497-503. Causes: Causes Heredity Ethnicity Poor Dietary Habits Family Lifestyle Socioeconomic Status Consequences: Consequences Correlation between childhood and adult obesity Medical complications of extreme overweight children Psychological consequences of overweight Unchangeable Risk Factors: Unchangeable Risk Factors Children with two obese parents Children with on obese parent Socio-demographic factors Changeable Risk Factors: Changeable Risk Factors Parenting style Physical activity Television watching Eating patterns Promote a Healthy Lifestyle: Promote a Healthy Lifestyle Establish good eating habits. Help your child grow into their current body weight. Make exercise a regular and enjoyable part of your child’s life. The Ideal Environment: The Ideal Environment Parks with safe play equipment, bike/walking paths and sponsored activity programs. Community sports leagues. School physical education programs. Healthful school breakfast and lunch programs. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Promotion of healthy eating and exercising habits by all. Limit television and video games to two hours per day. Promote gardening. Promote size acceptance. Regular healthcare.