Obesity in Children

The rate of child obesity is increasing rapidly in our country, as in other countries. In developed countries, the prevalence of child and adolescent obesity rises to 25%. Scientific studies predict that child obesity rates will increase 2-3 times after 5 years.

How is obesity detected in children?
In children, from the 1st month until the age of 18, the percentile curve values ​​specific to our country are used to determine the weight that should be according to the age and height of the child. Children with percentile values ​​of 75% or more for their height are considered obese. Another detection method is to look at the body fat percentage. The percentage of fat that should be in children is between 17 – 25%. Children with more than 25% fat are considered obese.
Why is it important to check with a doctor before weight loss?
Many blood values ​​increase with obesity. In addition, some hormonal problems also bring weight problems. As a result of a doctor’s examination and tests, the reasons for the child’s obesity can be found, as well as the health problems that occur as a result of obesity. As a result of the tests, the points that need to be supported in nutrition can be understood as well as the points that need to be restricted. It will also be understood whether he will receive medical treatment or not.

Why do kids get fat?
Many factors play a role in this:
one.Genetic Factor: If the parents are obese, the risk of the child being obese is 80%, if only one of them is obese, this rate is 50%, and if both are not obese, this rate is 9%.
2.Medical problems: Being a low-birth-weight baby or the mother’s malnutrition in the first months of pregnancy, excessive weight gain during pregnancy and increased mother’s sugar level, thyroid gland deficiencies, adrenal gland problems, cortisone use, some antidepressant drugs, etc.
3.Lack of physical activity: laziness, not doing sports, sitting in front of the TV for a long time or staying in front of the computer
4.Psychological reasons: Unrest in the family (especially the child who thinks that he is not loved is trying to fill this hunger with overeating), failure in school, problems in friendships, lack of self-confidence, personality disorders, depression, etc.
5. Families’ ignorance about nutrition: Parents allow their children to eat whatever they want so that they do not starve. This is the wrong approach. Often, the child will cry or refuse food to achieve his wishes. In such situations, do not accept what your child has done and do not give their wishes. When he sees that your attitude is clear, he will eventually eat the food you give him. Or, you can mix the food you want to give to your child by mixing it with the foods he likes. Because in such an important matter, the initiative should never be left to children. We should not forget that nutrition does not mean only consuming foods that satisfy the stomach.
Feed ; It is the consumption of natural and healthy foods that contain the necessary nutrients and energy value specific to the person in order to ensure the growth and development of the body, to protect and improve health. So how are families made aware of this? The important thing at this point is; access to reliable and accurate information. You can get the right information from dietitians, doctors, reliable websites or from the books of academics who have received training on the subject.
Another point that families should pay attention to is that their own behavior is not wrong while trying to teach their children the truth. A mother who drinks tea herself, or a father who drinks Coke in front of the child, while saying to the child that they should drink milk or fruit juice for breakfast, or Coke is harmful, is far from convincing. First of all, correct your behavior so that your child, who takes you as a role model, can also change their behavior. Because children get their first eating habits and tastes from their families. And these shapings continue in almost the same way throughout their entire lives. Therefore, the awareness of proper nutrition should be created in childhood, with the logic that the tree bends when it is wet.
6. Increasing consumption of fast-food: Likewise, consumption of fast-food is another factor, which is the most important point. We often see children aged 5-15 coming with their families in fast-food shops on weekends. This painting tells the child: the child came to a fast-food dinner with his family. And will his parents make him do something wrong on purpose? no! Then the fast-food culture is not wrong. This is the result of the straight logic that the child has built in his mind.
In this case, families should look for the source of their children’s mistakes, which they complain about malnutrition. Because they first made their children do the wrong thing.
7. Drug treatments: Drugs used in the treatment of some diseases also trigger weight gain. This trigger is in the form of appetite in some, water collection in some, and weight gain by slowing down the metabolism in others. If we give an example of such drugs, antidepressants, drugs with cortisone, drugs containing hormones, etc. In this regard, in order to prevent obesity, the doctor’s recommendations should be taken into account, and the appetite should be tried to be controlled with the help of a specialist. Treatment should never be interrupted.

After all, bad eating habits do not only lead to obesity. Another problem that has increased in recent years is high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol, which increases the risk of atherosclerosis and hypertension, tends to decrease until very young ages. Apart from this, malnutrition and obesity have many problems such as diabetes, fatty liver, pancreatitis, palpitations, orthopedic problems, respiratory problems, snoring, sleep apnea, asthma, reflux, gallstones, stomach problems, early puberty, ovarian cyst, darkening of the skin and psychological problems. triggers the disease. Apart from this, malnutrition also adversely affects mental development. Because the brain uses glucose. However, fat intake is provided from fast-food and snacks rather than glucose. Excess fat accumulates in the adipose tissue and forms obesity.
Families think that dieting in the developmental age of their children will set them back, and that the child will lose their excess weight after puberty. This misdirection is slowly starting to change. There is a significant increase in the number of children and adolescents aged 7-18 years who apply to dietitians with the diagnosis of obesity every year.
It is more important to control weight, especially in early childhood, compared to later years. Because the number of fat cells in the human body increases in some periods. These periods are; The last 2 months of pregnancy, the first 18 months after birth, preschool 5-7 years and adolescence. After puberty there will be an increase or decrease in the volume of existing cells. Therefore, the fatter the child is during these periods, the higher the number of cells will increase, the greater the risk of developing obesity and diseases brought about by obesity in later years. In this case, early intervention will bring the child’s health to the point of improvement, rather than deteriorating it.

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