What is obesity ‘few extra pounds do not imply obesity. However, this may indicate a tendency to gain weight easily and the need for changes in diet or exercise. specializes in affordable plans that facilitate access to quality healthcare services offers health coverage to families across the United States Usually a child is not considered obese until he weighs at least 10 percent more than the recommended weight for their height and body type. Obesity usually begins in childhood between the ages of 5 to 6 years and during adolescence. Studies have shown that the child who is obese between the ages of 10 to 13 years has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult. What causes obesity ‘The causes of obesity are complex and include genetic, biological, behavioral and cultural. Basically, obesity occurs when a person eats more calories than your body burns. If one parent is obese, there is a 50 percent chance that children are also obese. However, when both parents are obese, children have an 80 percent chance of becoming obese. Although some medical disorders can cause obesity, less than 1 percent of all cases of obesity are caused by physical problems. Obesity in children and adolescents may be related to: poor eating habits overcompensate or lose the ability to stop eating (binging) hospital lack of exercise (eg, children who spend lying on the sofa) History obesity in the family medical conditions (endocrine or neurological problems) drugs (steroids and some psychiatric medications) changes in life that cause you much stress (separation, divorce, moves, deaths, abuse) family problems or peer low self-esteem depression or other emotional problems. What are the risks and complications of obesity ‘There are many risks and complications due to obesity. The physical consequences include: an increased risk of heart disease high blood pressure diabetes trouble breathing sleep difficulties. Obesity in children and adolescents is also associated with an increased risk of emotional problems. Teens with weight problems tend to have much lower self-esteem and tend to be less popular with peers. Depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder can also occur. How can you manage and treat obesity ‘Obese children need a medical evaluation by a pediatrician or family physician to consider a physical cause. In the absence of a physical disorder, the only way to lose weight is by reducing the number of calories you eat and increasing physical activity level of the child or adolescent. Lasting weight loss can only occur when there is motivation itself. Since obesity often affects more than one family member, establishing healthy eating habits and regular exercise as a family activity can improve the chances of achieving successful weight control for the child or adolescent. Ways to manage obesity in children and adolescents include: Health insurance starting a weight management program change eating habits (eat slowly, develop a routine) plan meals and make a better selection of food eat less food and avoiding fatty foods of low nutritional value (junk and fast foods) control portions and consume less calories Increase physical activity (especially walking) and have a more active pattern of life learn what insurance your child eats school make family meals instead of watching TV or being on the computer Do not use food as a reward limit snacks attend a support group (ex: “Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous“) Obesity often becomes a lifelong question.