Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a problem that affects many individuals around the globe. The problem is rampant because healthcare institutions use a lot of resources in their endeavors to curb it. The issue affects individuals of all ages, leaving them in poor states of health. The epidemic has raised concerns because it strikes children and adolescents at high rates. The ailment arises due to a high intake of calories as well as genetic factors (Kumar, S., & Kelly, A. S. (2017). The diagnosis of obesity follows the criteria of Body Mass Index (BMI); health practitioners regard children with a BMI of 30 and higher as obese (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2021). Obesity is a cosmetic concern and a medical condition that can increase the risk of individuals contracting other diseases, affecting their health adversely.






Prevalence of the Condition

The prevalence of the problem is considerably high; between 2017 and 2018, approximately 14.4 million individuals reported having the problem. Thorough observation indicates that the prevalence is 13% in children between the ages of 2-5 years, 20.3% for those between 6-11 years, and 21.2 % for those aged 12-19 years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022). The problem’s pervasiveness in the United States is high because 1 in 3 children report complications. The actual percentages in the region are 22.8% of preschool children,34.2% for those aged between 6-11 years, and 34.5 % for those aged between 12-19 years (Kumar & Kelly, 2017). Ultimately, the commonness of childhood obesity implies that individuals need to monitor their weight closely to prevent the contraction of the condition.

Predisposing/Risk Factors for Childhood Obesity

Several factors predispose childhood obesity and place children at risk of contracting the condition. These include:

  1. Socioeconomic status- Higher socioeconomic standards put children and adolescents at higher risk for the disease (Farrag et al., 2017). Therefore, children from high-income families are the most susceptible.
  2. Gender- Boys are at higher risk of contracting the condition because they do not monitor their weight effectively (Wang et al., 2018). Furthermore, mothers monitor the weight statuses of girls more than boys, thereby reducing the chances of female children attracting the ailment.
  3. Diet- Consumption of food with a high percentage of carbohydrates contributes to obesity (Farrag et al., 2017). High-glucose foodstuffs include sugar-sweetened beverages, cakes, doughnuts, savory snacks, and iced desserts.
  4. Sleep-children who sleep less than six hours daily are at higher risk of becoming obese.
  5. Underlying medical conditions- Underlying medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, and other comorbidities increase the chances of children’s obesity (Kumar & Kelly, 2017).

Comorbidities of Childhood Obesity

Comorbidity refers to the existence of more than one medical condition concurrently. Childhood obesity is associated with other systems of the body, such as the endocrine, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and cardiovascular systems; most children and adolescents with the condition report having complications such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and steatohepatitis (Kumar & Kelly, 2017). The implication is that individuals with obesity are at risk of contracting other ailments because the affliction alters general body functioning significantly.

Intervention Strategies for Childhood Obesity

Several interventions can help in the treatment and management of the condition. Dietary modification, as well as an increase in physical activities, aid in the control of the condition significantly; parents and caregivers can prevent and treat the disease by encouraging children to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, engage in sporting activities, and reduce sedentary activities such as video games and excessive use of computers and television (Kumar & Kelly, 2017). The authors further note that bariatric surgery helps significantly reduce weight and control comorbidities associated with the medical condition. Intervention programs by healthcare sectors also contribute significantly to the control of the condition.

Concluding Remarks

Obesity among children is a serious health issue that requires immediate attention. Various factors predispose to the condition and can increase the risks of contracting other diseases. Therefore, parents should identify factors contributing to the problem and seek proper intervention strategies to prevent their children from contracting it.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, May 17). Childhood obesity facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from,more%20common%20among%20certain%20populations.

Farrag, N. S., Cheskin, L. J., & Farag, M. K. (2017). A systematic review of childhood obesity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: prevalence and risk factors meta-analysis. Advances in pediatric research4.

Kumar, S., & Kelly, A. S. (2017, February). Review of childhood obesity: from epidemiology, etiology, and comorbidities to clinical assessment and treatment. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 92, No. 2, pp. 251-265). Elsevier.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, September 2). Obesity. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from,blood%20pressure%20and%20certain%20cancers.

Wang, V. H., Min, J., Xue, H., Du, S., Xu, F., Wang, H., & Wang, Y. (2018). What factors may contribute to sex differences in childhood obesity prevalence in China?. Public health nutrition21(11), 2056-2064.







Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 3). About adult BMI. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from


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