According to statistics, in the US every second child is overweight, every fifth is obese. In Western Europe, these numbers are smaller, but they are growing steadily. The disease is already beyond hereditary predisposition. Increasingly, among the main causes is called hypodynamia and abuse of fast food and trans fats.
What Causes Obesity in Children?
Like adults, obesity in children is difficult to treat. In order for the therapy to be successful, it is necessary to first find out the causes of the disease. To do this, doctors collect anamnesis and conduct all kinds of laboratory tests.
Anamnesis — a set of information about the patient and his disease, obtained by interviewing the patient and (or) those who know him and is used to establish the diagnosis
The most common factors causing excess weight, include:
- excess calorie intake;
- hereditary predisposition;
- metabolic disorder;
- a tumor of the hypothalamus, hematological malignancies, trauma skull;
- neuroendocrine disease: hyperadrenocorticism, hypothyroidism;
- sleep deprivation;
- the lack of a day mode;
- long-term use of glucocorticoids, antidepressants;
- gene mutation;
All these risk factors need to be identified in a timely manner to start the necessary treatment. Unfortunately, parents often pull to the last, until obesity of the first degree will not turn into the third with all the complications and consequences for life and health.
How Do I Know if My Child Is Overweight?
Symptoms of obesity in a child
The clinical picture of the disease is closely related to the age characteristics of the child. So at some stages of his life symptoms may be different. As a rule, the signs of obesity develop incrementally, i.e. appear with each stage brighter.
- severe allergic reaction;
Primary school age:
- excessive sweating;
- shortness of breath during walking and exercise;
- deformation of the figure due to the appearance of fat folds in the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, arms, and shoulders;
- high pressure.
- fast fatigability;
- menstrual disorders in girls;
- dizziness, frequent and severe headaches;
- swelling of limbs;
- aching pain in the joints;
- depressed, depressed state;
- conscious isolation from peers.
In adolescence, the disease reaches a new level, covering not only the physiology but also the psychological state of the child. Overweight does not allow him to fully communicate with peers. Often this leads to maladaptation, antisocial behavior and even autism.
What Diseases Are Obese Children at Risk For?
Having noticed the first signs of the disease in one’s child, one should not hope that this is temporary, this happens for everyone, all this is age-related and will soon pass. It is necessary as soon as possible to contact the endocrinologist, who will make the correct diagnosis and give appropriate recommendations.
- birth weight;
- age of onset of obesity;
- growth dynamics;
- presence of type II diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases;
- neurological complaints: headaches, vision problems;
- psychomotor development;
- parents height and weight.
- Objective data:
- blood pressure;
- waist circumference;
- the distribution of adipose tissue on the body parts;
- stage of sexual development.
- physical therapy doctor;
Do not be afraid that if you suspect obesity, the poor child will be driven through all these studies and analyzes. After collecting anamnesis, the doctor will make assumptions about what factors have caused the disease and will prescribe only those diagnostic methods that are necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Children’s age peculiarities in obesity
Due to the fact that adipose tissue in the body is formed with different intensity, there are stages of childhood obesity associated with age characteristics:
in children under one year, there is the first build-up of adipose tissue and obesity is not diagnosed;
- 1-3 years-a critical period when parents and relatives overfeed the baby sweet – this is the first stage when symptoms of the disease may occur;
- 3-5 years is the growth of fat stabilize rarely have problems with weight;
- 5-7 years — the second critical stage, characterized by the growth of body fat;
- 8-9 years – children of school age in primary school rarely have problems with weight, as active life, physical education, lessons allow them to spend enough calories;
- 10-11 years-also a relatively quiet stage, but here parents are very important to prepare the teenager for the upcoming puberty and instill healthy eating habits;
- 12-13 years – at this age in the adolescent body there are serious hormonal changes due to puberty, which often becomes an impetus to the set of extra pounds.
Knowing the critical periods in the life of the child, parents can be more attentive to the problem of overweight at these stages. This will fix everything in the early stages when the disease is not yet running.
Classification of childhood obesity
For physicians, there is not one classification of childhood obesity: etiology, effects, degrees, etc. To parents not to wander into them, it is enough to possess minimum information.
First, the disease can be:
- primary – due to heredity and congenital pathologies;
- secondary — acquired, due to poor diet and physical inactivity.
Secondly, there is a special table that will help determine obesity in a child by body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by the formula:
I degree of obesity
A small excess weight in the child does not cause anxiety in parents. They even rejoice in his excellent appetite and well-fed cheeks. The diagnoses of pediatricians are not serious, always appealing to the well-being of their child. In fact, the obesity of 1 degree is easily cured with sports and proper nutrition. But because of this behavior of adults, it happens very rarely.
II degree of obesity
The disease progresses gradually, which leads to obesity of 2 degrees. At this stage, there is shortness of breath and excessive sweating. Children move little and are often in a bad mood. Problems begin with physical education at school and social adaptation in the classroom.
III degree of obesity
At this stage, the disease is already manifesting itself, so it is difficult not to notice. The joints of the legs begin to ache, the pressure increases, the blood sugar level fluctuates. The child becomes unbalanced, irritable, falls into depression.So to determine the degree of obesity at home and can parents themselves. This will allow you to seek medical help in a timely manner.
Treatment of obesity in children
The fight against childhood obesity should take place with the help of a child’s doctor and a psychologist who can explain to the child that the parents are not guilty. Prevent the occurrence of this disease and completely eliminate it will help a special diet, drug therapy, physical therapy and surgical treatment.
Diet for obesity
Children’s dietitian will help you to choose the right nutrition in the case of overweight in a child. It will adjust the diet so as to stop the formation of subcutaneous fat and enhance the elimination of accumulated reserves.
Diet menu for obesity should be varied and balanced. Children under 3 years of age are not allowed to eat a limited diet.
Eating with childhood obesity involves dividing the diet into at least 7 small portions per day. The break between meals should be no longer than 3 hours.
High-calorie meals are better to offer the child in the first half of the day in the time of greatest activity. For Breakfast and lunch, prepare low-fat meats and fish.
You can give your child dairy products with minimal fat. In this case, every day in his diet must be present cottage cheese.
A carbohydrates-the main source of body fat so excludes from eating baby white bread, sugar, carbonated water, candy, jam, and pasta.
Sports exercises in obese
An important part of the complex treatment of overweight is exercise. The specialist will recommend a special complex of exercise therapy that promotes weight loss.
Also, the problem of obesity is recommended to visit children’s sections, long walks, swimming, massage. The child should exercise systematically.
In most cases, treatment with drugs doctors prescribe only in the third degree of obesity. This is due to the fact that medicines that dull hunger and reduce weight are prohibited for use in children under 15 years of age.
Modern methods of treatment of childhood obesity are based on non-drug therapy. Usually, the therapeutic complex includes the reception of homeopathic remedies.
Surgical therapy for obesity is carried out in rare cases when all other treatments are ineffective or there is a threat to the life of the child.
Treatment of the disease by surgery is still being improved. Currently, there are about 40 types of operations that help to save the child from a dangerous disease.
How Can I Help My Overweight Child?
- To reduce the weight of the child, limit the use of carbonated beverages, sweet bars, hot dogs, chips, fatty foods. Teach it to healthy food, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Prepare delicious and healthy dishes.
- Start moving more and walk in the fresh air as long as possible. Make it a rule every weekend to travel with the whole family to nature. It is possible that the first time the child does not like these changes in the usual way of life, but over time he will get used to them.
- Children who are obese often have nervous disorders and self-doubt. They avoid communication with peers, evenings tend to spend with parents, watching TV or are constantly on the Internet. These children are trying to escape from reality in a virtual or imaginary world. In such situations, you should not let things take their course. Try to distract the child from the sad thoughts and show how beautiful life outside the four walls of the apartment.
- If during the struggle with the disease of the child you begin to experience irritation or a nervous breakdown, try immediately to calm down. You should minimize the occurrence of stressful situations, in a calm tone to talk to the child, try to convey to him, why it is necessary to stick to a diet, how the disease can affect his future.
- Try to stay close to your child while they are dieting. Most adults have a hard time with diet. What can we say about a child who can not understand why his parents deprived him of the usual and delicious food?