How is childhood obesity diagnosed?
Measuring weight status
Obesity in children is determined by using a BMI for age percentiles. BMI for age percentiles are the preferred method to measure wait status and children. This method calculates children’s wait categories based on age and BMI. BMI formally known as body mass index is a calculation of weight and height.
Twitter stand whether your child has obesity you must first calculate their BMI. A BMI calculator with weights and heights are available below.
By plotting the point on a graph relative to BMI and age you can determine if you were in the right category.
Measuring children’s growth
You may have heard about measuring weight in terms of the percentile. Pediatricians and family practitioners often will measure growth based on percentiles. Wait for age percentiles are used to measure your child’s weight based strictly on their age. It does not take into account the height of a child therefore it has some limits. This is not the method to determine obesity in children.
Childhood obesity has many causes research indicates that environment, lack of physical activity, genetics and family history, dietary patterns and socioeconomic status play a role.
A child is surrounded by television, Internet, and publication commercials promoting unhealthy foods and eating habits. It is estimated that approximately 40 to 50% of every dollar that is spent on food is spent outside the home and restaurants, cafeterias, sporting events etc. To deliver value establishments have increased portion sizes. Recent studies indicates that larger portions equal larger consumption of food.
Further given the fact that for in 10 mothers today are obese it is clear that family environment is playing a role.
Lack of physical activity
Several so she logic studies indicate that there has been a gradual decrease in physical activity over the last three decades. So the reasons for this include increased use of computers, television, electronics. If you add this to the decreased emphasis on physical education and time for recess and schools it is obvious children and adolescents are living a more sedentary lifestyle. In the past physical education was required on a daily basis. Currently only 8% of elementary schools in less than 7% of middle schools and high schools have daily physical education requirements.
Genetics and family history
We have made several discoveries identifying jeans to play a role in obesity. In addition estimate say that family history contributes to at least 25% of the risk for obesity. However teams alone do not always dictate whether a child is affected by obesity or excess weight. Family behaviors such as eating late at night, eating in front of the television or not having defined mealtimes place children at risk for obesity. Parents, especially those whose children are at risk for obesity should promote healthy food and lifestyle choices early in development.
The average lunchtime and schools has dramatically decreased. This leads to children often eating rushed and not allowing their bodies to feel the sensation of fullness. In addition school vendors as well as food establishments and manufacturers have increased food portion size. The presence of this trend creates overeating. Recent research indicates that larger portion size is directly related to larger consumption. when you add the reduction in physical activity it is clear children are eating more and utilizing less.
Children and young adults that come from lower income families are at greater magnitude risk of being affected by obesity. This is due to a complex interplay between several factors which include behaviors and activity.
Convenience foods often are less expensive then traditional foods. In addition these foods which come in boxes, cans or bags often have larger caloric content. The macronutrients often have higher amounts of simple sugars and simple carbohydrates.
It is estimated that only 25% of the general population is health literate. In lower so she economic classes that number drops to 5%.
Families who have had no exposure to proper nutrition and healthy food choices will find it difficult to instill those values in their children.