The statistics of Malaysians suffering from obesity has been increasing drastically over the years. According to Star2, Malaysia is now Asia’s fattest country with approximately half of the population obese. The most worrisome thing is that it isn’t only affecting the adults but also the children.
There are many consequences a child may face for being obese, these complications can be immediate or long-term, affecting children both physically and socially or emotionally. Here are the risks of childhood obesity.
Obese children are being diagnosed with a number of health conditions that are previously only seen among adults such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Liver disease
- Bone and joint problems
- Breathing problems like asthma and sleep apnea
- Abnormally early puberty or menstruation
- Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia
- Skin infections (due to sweat being trapped in skin folds)
Social and emotional risks
Being overweight or obese during childhood can result in serious psychological difficulties such as:
- Anxiety and depression
- Low self-esteem and lower self-reported quality of life
- Social problems like bullying and stigma
- Behaviour and learning problems
If your child is at risk of becoming overweight or is currently at a healthy weight, there are some actions that you can take to prevent this before it’s too late.
- Limit your child’s sugar intake
- Provide them with more fruits and vegetables
- Eat meals as a family as much as possible
- Limit eating at fast-food restaurants
- Make sure that portion sizes are appropriate for their age
- Limit TV and “screen time”
- Make sure that your child gets enough sleep
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