Pediatric Obesity Laguna Beach

Obesity affects 1 in 6 children and adolescents in the United States, and the number is continuing to rise. Where being overweight is defined as an excess of body weight for a particular height due to combined factors, obesity is an excess of body fat.

Measurement of Obesity

In children over 2 years old, obesity is measured using Body Mass Index (BMI), calculated by using a child’s height and weight.

These measurements are plotted in a chart that compares their BMI-for-age growth, giving a percentile ranking. Children with a BMI ranking of more than 85% are considered overweight, and those ranked over 95% are considered obese.

Causes of Obesity

Most cases of obesity, both in children and adults, is a result of overeating and not exercising enough. While a certain number of calories and nutrients are required for healthy growth, consuming more than is needed beyond what is needed to grow and sustain their energy will cause children to gain weight.

Obesity can cause both short- and long-term health issues.  Some of the conditions that children with obesity are at risk for include:

  • Asthma
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Joint pain
  • High blood pressure

Obesity in children is likely to lead to obesity in adulthood, and puts children at risk for adult health risks, including stroke, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and several types of cancer.

Along with physical health concerns, obesity can lead to a lack of confidence and lower self-esteem for children. This can be linked to poor performance in school, depression, and even impact your child’s ability to make friends.

Obesity Treatment

Your pediatrician can help you create a comprehensive plan for addressing childhood obesity. While a diet and exercise program is an important factor in combating obesity, it must be accompanied by support and teaching healthy habits to keep your child healthy in the long term.

If you want to help your child recover from obesity and avoid the many health risks it can bring, Newport Children’s Medical Group is ready to help. Our highly-trained pediatricians offer expert care to children in Laguna Beach and Orange County. Call today to make an appointment to help create a plan to combat this serious condition.ht.