I could go on and on about this subject because there is so much research that I've found while writing my doctoral practice model that supports that 'scariness' of it. However, I'm going to stay true to my word and stick to a short, but hopefully enlightening post. THIS (coupled with my family history of death and disease from preventable conditions) is why I decided to start this blog. No one needs to lose a family member, friend or their own life (or quality of life) from a disease or condition secondary to obesity or otherwise that is PREVENTABLE.
Fact: In the US alone, approximately 9 million kids over the age of 6 are obese.
Fact: The estimated annual cost to society is $100 billion, which includes treatment for diseases and preventable conditions caused by obesity
Fact: We are seeing very real and medically complex diseases in kids that were only previously seen in adults, such as sleep apnea, atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries - beginning of heart disease as early as age 6) and type 2 diabetes.
Fact: All complications and diseases secondary to obesity, as well as obesity itself, have a profound impact on all aspects of a child's quality of life and health. Most all complications are reversible if a family decides to take action.
Here are just a few of the complications that childhood obesity brings along with it:
- Low Self-Esteem
- Poor Self-Concept/Decreased Self-Image
- Targets for Bullying
- Social Isolation
- High Blood Pressure
- Fatty Liver Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Sleep Apnea
- Heart Disease
- Decreased Exercise/Activity Intolerance
- Decreased Test Scores in School
- Increased Likelihood for a Lower Future Income
- Increased School Absences
- Definite link to brain health and function
- Link to decreased activity and exercise level as adolescents and adults
- Decreased verbal skills
- Decreased gross motor skills (big muscle skills)
- Decreased fine motor skills (hand writing and coordination)
- Decreased ball sport skills
- Decreased balance skills
- Decreased ability to perform activities of daily living
- Sensory differences
- Earlier onset of puberty for girls and later onset for boys
- Decreased motivation to try new skills or enter new situations
Hopefully, you can now see why this is such a huge (no pun intended) societal issue. Through this blog, I will do my best to keep you posted on ways YOU can prevent or reverse obesity, or just general overweight. This will ensure that you and your family are up-to-date on all of the information that goes into moving toward or maintaining health and an active lifestyle.