Category Archives: Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity a planetary problem

Childhood ObesityDid you know that the UK has such a terrible problem with obesity that they have a National Obesity Observatory?

NOO as it is known have been looking at the weighing and measuring of children since 2005 completed at key times in children’s lives .The name observatory highlights the planetary size of the obesity problem which is fast arising amongst the nation’s children..

 

It is my opinion that the word observatory is an unfortunate label for this very important establishment. In the world of obese people words can cause harm especially for children. I am sure those in charge meant the meaning to be as those in the English dictionary

 

1. Place for scientific observations; a building, station, or artificial satellite used for scientific observation of natural phenomena such as astronomical objects, the weather, or earthquakes

Or

 

2. Place for looking at view; a place or building that commands an expansive view

 

But, I think the word observatory is going to make people think lesser kind thoughts about the every growing in weight children of the UK. The term observatory will be linked to thoughts such as, large, huge, round, enormous etc a link with planets, asteroids, larger than life for example.

 

Sadly this is what obese children may have to put up with during their childhoods,” fat” jokes and awful connotations at their expense. People might not say it but there will be the thought in some people’s minds. Because, even though it is an ever growing epidemic, seeing a child who is obese is still a relatively surprising jolt to the senses for most people, being hard to grasp, similar to understanding the concept of other planetary bodies, not a usual reality for most people in the UK.

 

In other countries obesity or being overweight has been a feature for a while, and the rise in children being obese is not just about the loss of innocence and being overweight, being the victim of emotional problems including low self esteem is just one aspect of the nature of childhood obesity across the world. This can rob children of their childhoods, creating problems in the long term which can also affect their weight gain and lead to ill health, emotionally and physically.


 

Parents and practitioners should familiarise themselves with the evolving language and knowledge about childhood obesity. Here are some of the important points

 

1. Obesity is a term used to describe somebody who is very overweight with a high degree of body fat – non medical people use phrases such as “he is obese” to describe what people look like

 

2. Obesity is measured by health professionals using the Body Mass Index – not many people are aware of how the Body Mass Index works. I n children it is very important to use instead of weighing children with scales as the Body Mass Index is a formula using height and weight. This means that as a child grows their weight proportion is more suitably measured with BMI; scales do not take into account growth. Some professional monitor and track trends in BMI not the figures.

 

3. Obesity is a serious disease with associated symptoms – see number 6 below

 

4. Morbid Obesity is a measure of when a person becomes double their ideal weight or is more than 100 lbs (44.4 Kg) over their idea weight with a body mass index of 40 or over

 

5. In Britain children are not normally defined as morbidly obese – instead what is called the 99.6th centile of the UK90 growth reference charts is often used to identify very obese children

 

6. Even though children are not classified as morbidly obese those that are very obese do risk co-morbid conditions that further seriously puts them at risk – Co Morbid conditions are those that are medical conditions associated with a disease such as obesity, examples are high blood pressure, fatty liver, heart disease and diabetes.

 

7. NOO states that one in five children in reception is overweight or obese (aged 4 – 5)

 

8. NOO states that one in three children in year 6 is overweight (aged 10 to 11)

 

9. The onset of type 2 diabetes is being seen in children who are obese – type 2 diabetes is reversible if children lose weight but the most alarming thing is that type 2 diabetes was always seen as an older persons disease, now children as young as 9 have contracted it and the term being used now is diabesity in adolescent children.

 

10. Pregnant women who are overweight are said to be more likely to have overweight children – recent research states that obesity for children can start in the womb and pregnant woman should be at an ideal weight to lessen the risk of their children becoming obese during their childhoods.

 

11. Vitamin D Deficiency Studies in Children – Really important research has being undertaken at the University of Michigan in 2006 and the revered Great Ormond Street Hospital February 2013 that makes a connection between the lack of the vital vitamin D and obesity. The research proves that children with obesity will prevent vitamin D being made in their bodies. Without vitamin D people get very tired and lack good growth and problems with bones.

 

Diabetes resources on Amazon

But how have children become more and more overweight or obese in this society? With bloggers and chefs such as Jamie Oliver, taking on school dinners and taking the mighty McDonalds to task over bleached meat unfit for human consumption.

 

In the UK they have found horse meat in recipes and “fresh” meat products being passed off as beef or lamb on the shelves of major supermarket chains. Public outcry has resulted and rightfully so but does this tell us what is making children progressively over time become overweight or obese?

 

There are lots of hunches about what is the cause of obesity in children which ranges from not breast feeding, processed foods and low nutrition foods and snacks and lack of parental control. Overall the main agreement is that children who are fed a lot of processed foods tend to also have inactive life styles and that obesity starts within the first 1000 days of life when it gets fully established.

 

What should parents do about the concerns they have for overweight or obese children could be. . But what is making children overweight and what can be done about it?

 

Firstly it is important that you get ongoing support from your General Practitioner. They will give you useful and practical advice which is easy to follow.

 

Always ensure that where ever you can you support your child’s positive sense of themselves; building self esteem will help children reduce their weight more efficiently.

 

Make sure you have the full nutritional advice available to you and follow it, allowing for treats and acceptable behaviours around food.

 

As a family, try to attempt to detox from addictive and processed foods which can cause cravings and undermine weight loss. This Detox system may help you