Childhood Obesity

Monday, February 23, 2015

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in this country. The condition has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being. Dr. Edward Hill discusses some of the effects of childhood obesity in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

One in three children in this country is now classified as overweight or obese. This rate has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years. It is truly a health care epidemic.

Addressing the problem in very young children is critical because obesity-related conditionssuch as diabetes and high blood pressureare occurring with greater frequency among older children, teens and young adults. There are also psycho-social problems that develop such as low self-esteem and poor self-image.

There are two main reasons for this explosion in childhood obesity, poor nutrition and a dramatic reduction in childrens physical activity.

Active children control their weight, build strong bones, perform better in school and have improved sleep.

But the physical activity level of children has dramatically declined over the past 30 years. It is estimated that one-half of teenagers have no regular physical activity and one-fourth report no exercise at all.

Healthy lifestyle habits can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.