Sunday, January 21, 2018

The U.S. Obesity Problem Will Likely Worsen in Coming Years

Childhood obesity receives a lot of attention, because obesity during childhood can lead to adult health problems. Childhood obesity increases the risk of adult obesity. And one study implies that living in the U.S. increases a child's chances of being obese during adulthood.

In the study, simulation was used to look at the life trajectories of 41,567 children and adults. And it was concluded that "Given the current level of childhood obesity, the models predicted that a majority of today’s children, [approximately 57%] will be obese at the age of 35 years, and roughly half of the projected prevalence will occur during childhood."

This means that we should continue to pay attention to methods that motivate children to follow a healthy diet and increase physical activity. We should also focus on children's families because families can induce children to engage in activities that can help the children maintain a healthy weight.

Indeed “A new study shows that when parents model a healthy lifestyle, that lifestyle is more effective than just talking to teens when it comes to obesity topics…” And an Institute of Medicine study has shown that with the right environment in the home, a child’s defensiveness, associated with being overweight for example, can be lessened. This lessening of defensiveness combined with support from the family can greatly increase the child's likelihood of engaging in a healthier lifestyle.

By taking actions to address overweight while a child is young, weight loss providers might be more successful at helping a child maintain a healthy weight. Appropriate action may lead to better health in adulthood. And the earlier some action is taken, the better. In fact, “Weight-loss programs can help even very young children slim down, and it appears that acting early may improve the odds of success…”

Finally, since being a child in the U.S. raises a child's risk of obesity before the age of 35, parents and healthcare providers should take note of this risk, even if a child is of normal weight. And steps should be taken to insure that even the normal weight child is advised to get exercise and follow a healthy diet.

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