Our fact sheet on childhood obesity will focus on the basic statistics of childhood obesity, plus some of the usual causes and possible treatment of the problem. Scientifically, formal studies on obesity in children and adolescents have been done since the early eighties.
If we compare the statistics that have been collected and compare it to the current numbers we have now, it would appear that within only 30 years, the rate of obesity in children as young as six has already tripled. The risk of adult obesity increases with age; adolescent children who are overweight now have a seventy percent chance of remaining obese in their adulthood.
The cost of obesity in America
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the nineties were the tipping point in medical expenditure due to obesity. More than $125 million was spent on treating obesity and the conditions that came along with it. It has also been found that a lower socio-economic standing also contributed to the incidence of being overweight or being clinically obese in adolescent children the jovell.
How much exercise?
While there are many recommendations for how long exercise should be from so-called ‘experts’ in the field of weight loss and dietetics, it would be safe to follow the basic requirement: children below the age of 12 need at least 2 ½ hours of exercise per week to be healthy. Eating habits should also be improved in order to maximize the benefits provided by the regular physical activity.
Children above the age of 12 on the other hand, need more exercise to stay healthy. According to an online fact sheet on childhood obesity bearing US health guidelines, the recommended exercise for children 12 and above is at least 3 hours and 45 minutes per week. Because as a person grows older, his metabolism slows down, which is why any fact sheet on childhood obesity would recommend more exercise every few years to remain below the overweight category.
You can only imagine what kind of eating habits children have now, which is why it is imperative for every concerned parent to step in now to prevent obesity in their children, if it has not happened yet.
Childhood obesity should not be taken lightly; the problem will not ‘go away on its own’. Obesity is not a phase that a child simply outgrows; it’s medical condition that will get worse if nothing is done. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are quite common to people who are obese, and diabetes does not pick its victims. Additionally, children as young as 5 can develop cardiovascular anomalies such as hypertension, and early onset of Atherosclerosis.