Obesity Among Children and How to Prevent It

By: Juliet Cohen


Obesity is both an individual clinical condition and is increasingly viewed as a serious public health problem. Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat and/or body water. Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person. Factors that might tip the balance include your genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods and not being physically active. Obesity can run in families, but just how much is due to genes is hard to determine. Many families eat the same foods, have the same habits (like snacking in front of the TV), and tend to think alike when it comes to weight issues. In most cases, weight problems arise from a combination of habits and genetic factors. Certain illnesses, like thyroid gland problems or unusual genetic disorders, are uncommon causes for people gaining weight. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. One in three Americans is obese.

Obesity is mainly caused by taking in more calories than are used up in physical activity and daily life. Obesity puts you at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and many other serious health problems. Genetic factors play some part in the development of obesity -- children of obese parents are 10 times more likely to be obese than children with parents of normal weight. Obesity is now recognized as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attack. Obesity is also increasing rapidly throughout the world. Obesity also can lead to stroke, greater risk for certain cancers such as breast or colon cancer, and even death. Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration; it is a dire health dilemma directly harmful to one's health. In the United States, roughly 300,000 deaths per year are directly related to obesity, and more than 80% of these deaths are in patients with a BMI over 30. In the United States, women are slightly more at risk for becoming obese than men.

In addition to other potential problems, people who are obese are more likely to be depressed. Adult obesity rates have almost quadrupled in the last 25 years. Now 22% of Britons are obese and three-quarters are overweight. Medical treatment of obesity focuses on lifestyle changes such as eating less and increasing activity level. Phen-fen" and Redux These prescription drugs have been removed from the market in the United States and many other countries. Ephedra This natural substance is essentially an herbal phen-fen. Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is often found in appetite suppressants as well as over-the-counter cough and cold remedies. Diet and exercise, the goal of medication treatment has to be realistic. With successful medication treatment, one can expect an initial weight loss of at least 5 pounds during the first month of treatment. Soft drinks, fruit juices, and sports drinks are loaded with sugar; drink fat-free or low-fat milk or water instead. Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Avoid fast-food restaurants. Eat a healthy breakfast every day. Don't eat meals or snacks while watching TV.

Obesity Treatment Tips

1. Soft drinks, fruit juices, and sports drinks are loaded with sugar; drink fat-free or low-fat milk or water instead.

2. Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

3. Avoid fast-food restaurants.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast every day.

5. Don't eat meals or snacks while watching.

6. Phen-fen" and Redux drugs have been removed from the market in the United States and many other countries.

7. Ephedra natural substance is essentially an herbal phen-fen. It is the active ingredient in MaHuang and is used as a stimulant and appetite suppressant.

8. Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is often found in appetite suppressants as well as over-the-counter cough and cold remedies.

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Juliet Cohen writes articles on diseases and conditions and women health care. More information on health related topics visit our site at www.health-care-articles.info.

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