Is My Child Obese? All About Obesity in Children

Obesity; is weight gain due to an increase in the amount of fat in the body. Its incidence is increasing in the world.

Is My Child Obese? All About Obesity in Children

Obesity is a widespread problem in children today. In addition to the physical issues in the obese children I meet, I also observe severe emotional hunger. It would be a big mistake to think that obesity is just weight gain. I wanted to answer your questions about obesity in children!

What is Obesity in Children?

Obesity; is weight gain due to an increase in the amount of fat in the body. Its incidence is increasing in the world. Studies conducted show that the majority of children and youth are overweight or obese. We know that it is essential to provide lifelong healthy nutrition and lifestyle changes to treat obesity. Many dynamics are underlying the reality of our children being obese. We can list these reasons as follows.

If both parents are obese, the probability of their child being obese is 80%. When only one parent is obese, the likelihood of their child being obese is 40%. Therefore, parents are as responsible for their children's bodies as they are responsible for their own. It is known that the most important cause of obesity is more energy intake than energy expenditure. Increasing physical activity is significant in order not to be obese. In cases of obesity in children, it has been observed that physical activity and energy consumption are low in their families. Therefore, we should not forget that children look at what their parents do, not what they say, and imitate them.

Environmental factors are critical, especially in terms of energy consumption. Restricting the physical activities of children living in big cities is a general problem. While the child's activity is prevented, unlimited foods are placed before him that he can consume. When these two essential factors are combined, the risk of obesity increases.

Among the environmental factors, watching television and using a computer can be counted among the most critical issues. These two actions restrict the child's movement and minimize energy consumption. While watching television, the tendency to eat also increases. Another adverse effect of television is that children are aware of non-nutritive foods and beverages are shown in advertisements and the appeal of these foods increases.

The number of meals and the content of the nutrients taken are significant in nutrition. An obese child is not always a child who eats more than his peers but spends less energy. Low energy consumption is a considerable risk factor for weight gain. Reducing the frequency of feeding, eating one or two meals and the high-calorie content of the food are important factors.

We should not forget that hormonal factors are critical. When our child's weight gain is observed, it is essential first to find an endocrine origin. Some hormonal reasons, such as thyroid gland diseases and adrenal gland diseases, can also cause obesity. For this reason, we must hurry to have every obese child evaluated by a pediatric hormone specialist.

Children may be exposed to severe peer bullying when they are physically different from their peers. And unfortunately, in this regard, children can be incredibly cruel to each other from time to time. In addition to physiological disorders, obese children also face many problems in their social lives.

In childhood obesity, reduced self-confidence due to academic failure and failure to lose weight causes obese children and youth to lead socially isolated life. Obese children are more likely to socialize than their peers because they are thought to be older due to their large size, and the performance expected from older age groups in social skills is expected.

How should the family approach the obese child?

Every sentence to be used against children should be taken seriously, and it should be kept in mind that it can cause problems in their personality for life. If your child is overweight, find activities that you can do together instead of constantly reminding him. Plan adequate and balanced meals and consume those meals with your child. Turn off computer games and organize activities that you can enjoy together.

Never blame or threaten your child. Such sensitive issues can be a source of resistance among children and families. Shame, blame, and anger can cause a feeling of failure, leading to other eating disorders in the future. It is also essential for parents to use a common language in this regard. The different messages you give to the child cause an unhealthy individual to grow up. The weight your child gains negatively affects his psychological health and physical health; sleep problems and psychological problems begin to appear over time. The adverse effects of obesity are many. It is one of the essential steps of the parent to get psychological help to find out what emotional hunger is at the root of the eating.

The emotions experienced by the obese child cause adverse consequences on body image. Among these feelings, I am ugly. I am not worthy of being loved. Even my family doesn't like me. It can't be my friend. Inaccurate perceptions can be counted as if I cannot lose weight; I will always be alone. And these worries cause the child to eat more.

Should an obese child seek psychological help?

While dieting alone provides weight loss in a short time in terms of weight loss, the return to old weight is rapid due to quitting the diet. Psychological support in the weight loss process and mental and behavioral factors in the psychotherapy process are critical.

As in all matters, the process of psychological help for children also works differently. First of all, psychological factors are often overlooked in weight loss issues. Involving the family in this process is essential. Because a child cannot be thought of independently from the family he is in.

Although eating to calm the feelings of unhappiness, sadness, anger, anger, pain and the food is a reward for the person works quickly, it becomes a problem in the long run.

For children trying to lose weight, it is essential to observe their eating behaviors. These situations that encourage them to eat, emotional and environmental factors trigger overeating, physical activity levels, lifestyles. It is essential for the success of the treatment to include the whole family in the therapy program and ensure that they become a suitable model for the child by arranging their lifestyles. This approach should be made by taking into account the characteristics of the developmental period of the child. In the family-based behavioral treatment approach, it is desired to change the habits.

Although it is difficult to change established behavior patterns, it teaches the child a healthy eating model that he will acquire for life. Appropriate psychological support makes this process as easy as possible and even makes it fun. Whether they are children or adolescents, a warm and lively relationship with a psychologist primarily supports them emotionally, making it easier for them to adapt to the process, making them willing to lose weight and change their habits. It should not be forgotten that each subject should be studied individually during the treatment, and behavioral adjustments may be permanent for the family and the child.