By Dr. Candice M. Wilson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Child obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) above the 95th percentile on a pediatric growth chart. Its prevalence is steadily increasing due to unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. In clinical practice, it has been observed that this disease commonly affects school-age children and adolescents.
Healthcare providers must begin to encourage and empower parents and their children through therapeutic communication and education on healthy eating and exercise benefits. There is a direct link between childhood obesity and multiple comorbidities into adulthood. Hence, having an elevated BMI increases a child’s risk for other health conditions such as type-2 diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, sleep apnea, and depression.
Please read the referenced article below from the American Academy of Pediatrics (2023).
Childhood Obesity: A Complex Disease
By: Sandra Hassink, MD, FAAP & Sarah Hampl, MD, FAAP
As a parent, you want the best possible health for your child. So does your pediatrician. When your child comes to see a pediatrician, for either a well visit or a sick one, we are always asking ourselves what we can do to keep your child healthy. An important step in understanding your child’s health is checking if they have excess weight
Understanding obesity as a chronic disease
In fact, we call obesity a chronic disease because it can affect every part of the body. It can even interfere with the way we feel hunger and fullness and process energy. Obesity is a
disease that can be treated, much like asthma and other chronic conditions.
Why it’s important to treat obesity early
We must work towards a better environment where all children and families can grow healthy. However, until we can create healthier environments, keep in mind that treatment for overweight and obesity can work despite unhealthy environments.
Focus on health—not on body appearance
It is important to acknowledge the harmful effects of weight bias and stigma. There is no place for blame or guilt about body shape or size. What is important is that our bodies function in a healthy way.
Blaming someone for obesity is like blaming someone for having asthma. It is not helpful, frequently harmful, and gets in the way of effective treatment.
Your child’s health is important to you as parents and to your child’s pediatrician. Measuring BMI and evaluating the health effects of obesity is part of keeping your child healthy.
Meet & Greet - October 18, 2023, at 5:30 pm
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