Today, children are plagued with a new epidemic in the form of childhood obesity. The number of obese children living in the United States has tripled during the past few decades. Approximately one out of five children from the ages of six through 19 suffers from obesity. When a child experiences obesity, he or she has too much body fat. A child is diagnosed with obesity when it is determined that he or she has an excess body weight in comparison with his or her height.
Measuring a Child’s Obesity Level via a Body Mass Index
Doctors and nurses measure obesity in children by using the body mass index (BMI) as an insightful tool. The BMI tool acknowledges the fact that children are not yet adults and are growing at various rates according to their specific genders and ages. The BMI chart indicates whether a child is obese. A child who falls into the BMI percentile category between 86 and 94 is overweight. A child who falls into the BMI percentile category of 95 or higher is diagnosed as being obese.
Obese Children Experience Psychological and Physical Repercussions
Some parents may think that obesity is not a problem for their child. However, obesity in a child is recognized as having a profound effect on the child’s ability to perform physical exercise, make friends and feel self-confident. For instance, obese children experience more bullying and teasing in school than their peers who are not overweight. Consequently, these obese children tend to feel abused, isolated and depressed. Furthermore, obese children have higher risks of contracting detrimental health conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, joint problems, orthopedic issues, high blood pressure and asthma.
Children Need to Exercise and Eat Healthy Foods
An obese child is more likely to remain obese as an adult and risks becoming ill because of a variety of medical symptoms including cancer. Statistics show that a child with obese parents will most likely grow up into a similarly obese adult. Parents can set good examples for their children by preparing and eating healthy foods, avoiding junk foods as much as possible and avoiding excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages. Instead of encouraging a child to sit in front of a television screen for hours at a stretch, parents need to convince the child that spending time outdoors is a more rewarding activity. Participation in sports at school or playing basketball in the backyard with Dad offers excellent alternatives.
A Healthy Diet is the Key to Attaining an Ideal Weight
In the United States, childhood obesity remains a serious issue. Even though younger children are currently less obese than in the recent past, older children today are grossly overweight. In addition, children living in low-income families tend to experience obesity because they do not always eat healthy meals. When children consume fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nonfat milk and unsweetened nonfat yogurt, they are not as likely to become severely overweight. Children need to avoid overindulging in snacks and beverages containing excessive amounts of calories, white sugar, and saturated fats. Children who are raised eating healthy foods grow up into adults who are knowledgeable about food choices.
Junk Foods and Sugary Sodas may Cause Obesity
Parents may wish to consult with the family physician or a registered dietary nutritionist to determine the right diet for their children. Junk food is particularly offensive to an obese child or a child who is on the way to becoming obese. Parents should consider the option of packing wholesome lunches for their children on days when they attend school. Lunches that include sandwiches made with whole grains, an apple, a few carrot sticks and a carton of milk offer nutritional support for a growing child.
Walking offers a Way to Gain Quality Time with a Child
Getting enough physical exercise also plays a significant role in preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes. Children need to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes at least five days a week. One way to help a child maintain a desirable weight is to go for long walks with the child. Walking also invites conversations which lead to quality time spent with a young son or daughter. Parents and children can also enjoy going on outings together that involve hiking, swimming or riding bicycles.
Diagnosing Obesity is Often a Challenge to Parents
Some children are a few pounds overweight without suffering from the medical condition known as obesity (Crunchbase). A child may have a larger body frame, or a different amount of body fat, than another child. It is not always easy for parents to determine whether their child is obese. A trip to the doctor’s office yields definitive answers to the dilemma. Parents with concerns about obesity need to make an appointment with the family doctor. The physician looks at the child’s medical history, growth pattern, BMI chart and the family’s weight pattern. The data determines the normality or abnormality associated with a child’s excess pounds.
A Few Words about Dr. Mark Holterman
Dr. Mark Holterman is a world-renowned physician who was raised on a farm in Wisconsin. Living on a farm enabled him to develop a steadfast attitude toward work. As a child, he helped his dad who owned a construction company. He received top grades in biology and was granted a National Institutes of Health (NIH) scholarship as part of the undergraduate scholarship program (UGSP) in the medical scientist training program. After attending college for 13 years, Dr. Mark Holterman became a doctor with a Ph.D. After completing his residency as a surgeon, he entered married life. His wife gave birth to two boys. Dr. Mark Holterman moved to the state of Washington with his wife and two sons in 1993. He attended the Seattle Children’s Hospital where he completed his fellowship in pediatric surgery.
Eventually, Dr. Mark Holterman moved to Chicago, Illinois, with his family where he was employed as a college professor and physician of pediatric surgery for more than 20 years. After working in the field of medicine for approximately 40 years, Dr. Mark Holterman had gained a considerable amount of talent as a scientific researcher (https://health.usnews.com/doctors/mark-holterman-3618). He became a co-founder of the Mariam Global Health Fund. As a result, he has helped other eminent scientists create companies specializing in regenerative medicine, oncology, medical devices and stem cell therapy. He is also interested in obesity. Dr. Holterman is an accomplished venture capitalist who helps identify biotechnological advancements. In addition, Dr. Mark Holterman is an advocate for eliminating childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.