Complications of Childhood Obesity – Startling Consequences That Affect Your Kids

Childhood obesity is an epidemic. This generation, for the first time in history, has a shorter predicted lifespan than their parents. Unfortunately, for many obese and overweight children, a shorter lifespan isn’t the only problem they’re facing. They also have to deal with serious mental and physical complications.

Emotional and Mental Consequences

When most people think about obesity and children they acknowledge the health complications that result. What they don’t think about is the emotional toll obesity takes. Children who are obese:

* Are teased, bullied and ridiculed at school. Being obese is extremely hard on a child. Children can be relentless with teasing and bullying. When a child is overweight, bullies have another weapon against the child. It can cause a vicious circle. The child is overweight so they get teased. The teasing makes them feel bad. They turn to food for comfort. They gain more weight…

* Are more likely to be depressed and suffer from low self-esteem. The depression and obesity connection is complicated. Hormones and blood sugar levels in an obese child tend to be abnormal. This can change brain chemistry and cause depression. Additionally, there is the emotional response to being obese and feeling bad about themselves. They can feel sad, depressed and lack confidence.

* Can have additional learning difficulties. Imbalanced blood sugar, hormones and energy levels can cause learning and focus difficulties. Lack of confidence in themselves only worsens the problem.

* May act out in an effort to gain attention. Behavior problems with obese children are common. It’s caused by stress, social anxiety, and a desire to be accepted.

Physical Consequences

If the emotional and mental consequences aren’t enough to convince you that childhood obesity has to end, here are some startling physical and health consequences.

* Early puberty and menstruation – Imbalanced hormone levels often lead to early puberty in obese children. This can also lead to behavior problems and more weight gain. Not to mention additional social anxiety.

* Asthma and breathing problems – The body and its internal organs can only do so much. When a child is severely overweight and inactive, the lungs struggle.

* Sleep disorders – Sleep apnea is common among obese children. When this occurs the brain is deprived of oxygen during the night. Children wake feeling exhausted and poorly. It’s not a good way to live at any age.

* Type 2 Diabetes – It’s almost a given that an obese child will develop type 2 diabetes at some point. This means a life of struggle, pain and discomfort. Not to mention a shorter lifespan.

* Chronic pain – Joints, muscles and tendons struggle to support a body’s weight. Children can spend their days feeling pretty miserable from head to toe. As adults they may require joint replacements and medication for chronic pain.

This is just the beginning. Obese children also suffer from:

* Eating disorders
* Psychological disorders
* Organ and liver failure
* Skin infections
* High blood pressure
* Metabolic syndrome
* High blood pressure

As adults, if the obesity isn’t reversed, they might deal with cancer, stroke, diabetes and dementia.

If all of this sounds shocking, there is good news. Childhood obesity isn’t a life sentence. Children can lose weight and learn to live a healthy lifestyle. They can turn their health, and their future around.