Obesity in children

Here is an appeal to common sense regarding obesity in children. Both doctors and parents are reluctant about raising the issue of childhood obesity. Over the past 30 years, the rate of childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. The developing world is vulnerable to obesity in children


childhood obesity adult obesity, and lots of adult health problems

such as:


anxiety and depression

emotional and behavior problems

poor sleep

poorer adult cardiovascular health

future colon cancer

future diabetes

poorer midlife cognitive function

4X the chance of developing type 2 diabetes in their 30s and 40s.

those with genetic risk respond more strongly to advertising

childhood it the best time to intervene to prevent future health problems

Managing weight, blood pressure and cholesterol in children may help protect brain function in later life.

Obesity may be contagious among teens.

ADD stimulant drugs can cause “rebound” weight gain later on.

Infant antibiotic exposures are consistently associated with increased body mass.

childhood asthma → obesity risk

early antibiotic use causes obesity

artificial sweeteners are not eliminated as quickly in children, which may be a concern

bariatric surgery (a last resort) may minimize heart health risk

Minimize exposure to bisphenol A:

Shown by a study of 1,326 students in grades 4–12 from three schools in Shanghai.

Shown by a study of 766 kids aged 12 to 19.

Shown by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003–2008).

Bisphenol S and bisphenol F may be even worse. Those who had greater levels of BPS and BPF in their urine were more likely to be obese compared to children with lower levels.

Seeing your kid as obese requires removing the rose-colored glasses.

even health professionals struggle with this

parents are important

include yourself when discussing your child’s obesity

BMI is misleading

obesity has a neurological disorder component

big breakfast (time-restricted feeding) vs. obesity

much more on time-restricted feeding in the (h-z) obesity post

This study of 229 of pubertal obese children from Mexico City showed that magnesium-deficient diets are determinants of inflammation, while high intake of refined carbohydrates is a risk factor for insulin resistance, independently of central adiposity.

citrus help for cardiovascular risk

resistance training combined with aerobic conditioning is best for obesity

start an exercise routine in childhood for better health as an adult

Walk to school

exercise may not be effective when a high fat (fast food) diet is consumed

comfort eating → obesity

Vitamin D supplements might help.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are bad news. Household dust is one source.

See also bisphenol A, above.

fruit juice causes obesity, more, more (see more on this in the obesity section of this blog)

especially belly fat – the most dangerous kind

substitute juice with whole fruit, which reduces inflammation

adolescent obesity begets type 2 diabetes

family meals

prebiotic fiber  and raisins to regulate kid’s appetite

Fish oil/flax (Ω-3 fats) for better vascular function and less inflammation.

too many food choices may result in overeating

A healthy lifestyle can overcome a genetic tendency to obesity.

Provide weekly incentives for healthy behavior.

Council kids on healthy eating, not avoiding/overcoming obesity.

Meat caution.

diverse gut microbiota – see the longevity post

mindfulness versus obesity

a Mediterranean diet

cow’s milk caution

nursing moms who eat junk food make offspring obese


non-traditional playgrounds



probiotics (or not) just after birth versus childhood obesity → adult obesity

children also benefit from a plant-based diet

Too much screen time can lead to obesity.

sleep versus obesity:

Shown by a study of 10,000 American teens and young adults, ages 16 and 21.

Shown by a study of 1,000 Philadelphia-area high school students.

Shown by a study of 2,000 children followed for 15 years.

Shown by a meta-analysis of 30,002 children.

Shown by a systematic review which included a total of 75,499 aged 0-18 yrs.

Shown by a study of 2,200 kids in 20 U.S. cities.

Long work hours for moms makes adequate children’s sleep difficult.

late bedtimes → obesity

Sleep deprivation can result in excess consumption of calories.

passive smoke and air pollution drive childhood obesity

obese kids prone to asthma, adult hypertension, smoking, and stupidity

self or parental opinions my not recognize obesity – best to consult medical charts

Obesity can cause early puberty.

puberty is when kids need to stop pigging out

second-hand smoke → obesity

Limit soda consumption – or any other sugary drink, including sports drinks.

advocate for a stand-biased desk

a low-starch plant based diet for weight loss (see the preventing obesity post also)

and to prevent a (disastrous) prediabetic diagnosis and premature death

may increase the chance of stroke as an adult

Sugar, due to it fructose fraction, is obesogenic. It hides in many children’s foods.

inhibition training with a support network helps

poor stress response  and fussiness predicts obesity in children

exercise counters stress

see the Children’s Neurological Health post about stress

video games sometimes promote junk food

advertising disproportionately affects children

toss the TV, no bedroom TV, more  (or at least take frequent breaks!)

Steer kids away from soda, any sugary drinks, and fruit juice, more, more

combo” meals may sabotage this

Limit junk food.

don’t let this happen!

This study of 229 of pubertal obese children from Mexico City showed that magnesium-deficient diets are determinants of inflammation, while high intake of refined carbohydrates is a risk factor for insulin resistance, independently of central adiposity.

By Otto

I am a health enthusiast, engineer, and maker.

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