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Childhood Obesity and Adolescent Obesity

Diagnosis of Childhood Obesity

Causes of Childhood Obesity

Effects of Childhood Obesity

Treatment of Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity and the Lap Band

Childhood Obesity

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Effects of Childhood Obesity:

Obesity has wide-ranging impacts on a child's health.

Physical health: Childhood Obesity has been linked to several diseases and conditions in adults, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Many risk factors associated with these diseases, such as high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure can be followed from childhood to adulthood. These risk factors point to a potential link between childhood obesity and long-term adult health. Overweight children are more than two times likely to have high levels of cholesterol. Aortic fatty streaks, the first stages of atherosclerosis, begin to appear in childhood, sometimes even as early as three years old. Also, children with triceps skinfolds greater than the 70th percentile have significantly higher blood pressures. In the past few years, Type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically among children and adolescents. Experts believe this increase is due to the high rate of overweight and childhood obesity.

Persistence into adulthood:
One of the biggest concerns is that obese children are more likely to become obese adults, with all of the health, social and psychological ramifications. Three important factors are age of onset, severity, and parental obesity. Adult obesity is greater among children who had extreme levels of obesity. Adults are at a higher risk for obesity if they were obese at older ages, such as in adolescence. Parental obesity may double the risk for adult obesity too.

Psychological and social health: Obesity has social, psychological and emotional consequences. Our society emphasizes a slim and fit look, and we have many misconceptions about overweight and obesity. As a result, obese children often are treated differently. This may be the most devastating effect of obesity on children. Obese children may feel isolated and lonely. This can lead to self-esteem and identity problems. It is important to be sensitive to this issue and to understand that an individual's confidence, especially a child's, is affected by self-image and perceptions of peers.