Things have become increasingly worse in the obesity epidemic, which is now triple the 1963 rate. Up to 13 percent of six – eleven year olds, besides 14 percent of adolescents, were classed as being obese even back in 1999.
Currently obesity is the major problem for numerous parents in both the U. S. A. and Great Britain, taking precedence over the concerns about drug abuse and smoking.
Obesity in children is producing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and elevated blood cholesterol levels, difficulty with sleeping, besides psychological effects. There are thirty known medical conditions that obesity causes individuals to be placed under increased risk. It is estimated that obesity expenses in the States alone over $100 billion per year to the society.
However, the main concern is that nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or fatty liver disease, which is said to affect one third of 11 year olds. It is a build-up of fat within the liver and is a silent killer. It creates scarring and inflammation, which can stop the liver from working as it should.
Dramatically increased children obesity has caused fatty liver disease to be on the increase. However, there are no warning signs to the disease, until it becomes acute.
Though stress, low self-esteem and depression can also play a part, the major cause of obesity, is created from too much television and too many video games, combined with sugar and fat loaded snacks.
“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents” said a former Surgeon General, Richard Carmona.
As gross overweight is one of the most difficult conditions to treat, parents of obese children are encouraged to:
- Become involved in a healthy eating program
- Push for strong social support of dietary intervention from others involved in preparing food
- Encourage regular physical activity – engaging the entire family
- Discover and emphasize the child’s strengths and positive qualities.
Data shows that once obesity is a problem in childhood, it generally turns into a life-long problem.