Obesity In Children – 8 Diseases Caused By It

Did you know that childhood obesity can be a factor in a multitude of other diseases? Apart from the undoubtedly negative impact on the child’s self-esteem, it also influences other elements that may adversely affect the child’s quality of life.
Obesity in children - 8 diseases caused by it

An estimated 18.5% of children are obese, according to World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office data published by RTVE. However, taking just weight aside, did you know that there are many diseases caused by childhood obesity ?

Please take a moment to read our today’s article so you can find out how childhood obesity can negatively affect their health.

Did you know that childhood obesity can be a factor in a multitude of other diseases? Apart from the undoubtedly negative impact on the child’s self-esteem, it also influences other elements that may adversely affect the child’s quality of life.

Child obesity is a worldwide problem

Overall, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been warning everyone for several years against the increasing prevalence of excess weight in children around the world.

In fact, it is even considered one of the major public health problems in this century. But what exactly is childhood obesity?

Basically it refers to the accumulation of excessive amounts of fat in the body. That is why a child weighs much more than is considered the correct value for his age and height. In fact, if you suspect your child is overweight or even obese, see your pediatrician for an investigation.

Diseases caused by obesity in children

Appearance aside, we must state unequivocally that excess fat accumulation can lead to diseases that doctors in the past considered typical of adults. Below, you can find out what health problems may arise in children who are considered obese:

1. Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is an acquired disease. And that means, of course, that it is not a congenital problem. Every time we eat, our pancreas releases insulin to separate glucose from the sugars we eat, and thus provide our cells with nutrients.

Sick child

The problem arises when too much food causes the pancreas to work excessively. Because of this, over time, the cells that produce insulin may die, and the pancreas may not be able to produce adequate amounts of insulin. This is how type 2 diabetes develops.

According to data from a 2017 study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society , there is a clear link between obesity and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children.
Obese children are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a disease characterized by a marked increase in blood glucose levels.

2. Diseases related to childhood obesity: high blood pressure

Various studies have shown that childhood obesity increases blood pressure, which can cause chronic hypertension at an early age. This increase in pressure can ultimately lead to long-term cardiovascular problems.

For this reason, doctors usually recommend a healthy and balanced diet for weight loss as well as an appropriately selected exercise plan.

3. High blood cholesterol

The accumulation of plaque in the arteries can lead to a narrowing of their lumen. The biggest complication of this situation is that the obstruction of the arteries can lead to a heart attack and even a stroke.

4. Self-esteem problems and even depression

Children can be cruel. The persecution that appears in newspaper reports every week is the best proof of this. Unfortunately, an obese child can fall prey to all kinds of hateful comments that affect his self-esteem and, in the worst case, cause severe childhood depression.

5. Diseases related to childhood obesity: metabolic syndrome

This syndrome includes various health problems that have a holistic effect on the body. In fact, obese children suffer from high blood pressure, low good cholesterol, high triglycerides and even glucose intolerance.

Child with a skipping rope

In addition, it is worth noting that this intolerance can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes over time. Childhood obesity can trigger additional diseases that are classified as the metabolic syndrome. If it is not controlled by a doctor, it can negatively affect their quality of life.

6. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Another disease associated with childhood obesity is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This happens when fat slowly builds up in the liver because the liver is unable to process it properly. The main risk is that the liver cells can be damaged then.

7. Eating disorders and obesity in children

Overweight and obesity in children can cause low self-esteem, as we’ve seen before. And in effect, push them towards anorexia or bulimia in a desperate attempt to lose weight.

8. Asthma

Finally, some studies indicate that obesity-induced inflammation can produce symptoms characteristic of asthma, disrupting airway function in children.

What else should we keep in mind when considering childhood obesity?

Above, we have described the main diseases associated with childhood obesity. However, they are not the only ones. Sleep apnea and restless sleep are two other possible complications of obesity.

If you suspect that your child’s weight is above the normal value, please do not hesitate to consult your pediatrician. It is the doctor who will be the best way to diagnose the disease and give your child tips on healthy eating and exercise.

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