Warning Signs of Childhood Obesity

As parents, you can help stop obesity before it starts.

As parents, you are in the best position to influence and inspire their children to live healthy lives.

Research shows that almost 50% of parents of overweight children don’t even realize their child has a weight problem. It’s important to be able to identify the difference between a few extra pounds due to developmental fluctuations and a more serious health problem. According to research, there are eight warning signs that indicate a higher risk of childhood obesity.

  1. Parental Obesity. If one parent of a child is obese, it is much more likely that he or she will be obese by the age of seven. The risk of obesity doubles if both parents are obese.
  2. Higher Birth Weight. Children who are born at a heavier weight are more likely to become part of the 17% of American children who are obese.
  3. Too Much TV. It’s important to focus on overall health improvements and not just weight loss. Promote an overall healthy lifestyle for you and your family.
  4. Not Enough Sleep. A study from the University of Illinois claims that inadequate sleep is a contributing factor for child obesity.
  5. Weight at an Early Age. Just like a higher weight during adolescence increase the chances of adult obesity, a bigger size in early life increases the risk of child obesity.
  6. Rapid Weight Gain. Children who rapidly gain weight during the first year of life are at a higher risk to become obese as children.
  7. Growth Spurt. A child who experiences rapid growth between birth and two years is more likely to experience child obesity.
  8. Early Development of Body Fat. Normally, body fat increases around 5 or 6 years old, but if a child develops body fatness earlier than that, there is a greater risk for child obesity.

If you are aware of the risks of obesity, you can make an effort to help prevent it. As parents, you are in the best position to influence and inspire your children to live healthy lives.