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Dangers of Childhood Obesity 


What is Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity has become one of the leading causes of childhood diseases nowadays. The times have passed when nutrient deprivation was one of the major causes of cell injury and death. Nowadays, apart from nutrient deprivation in some parts of the world, obesity is one of the major causes of cell injury and, ultimately, a lot of diseases. 

Childhood obesity is a condition of extreme overweight, in which the body consists of a lot of fat cells or adipose tissue. It’s a troubling medical condition in which extra pounds lead to serious diseases in childhood. Childhood obesity is a doorway to many diseases like diabetes, fatty liver, joint pain and high cholesterol levels in the blood. 

Role of Parents in Childhood Obesity

Parents also contribute to childhood obesity nowadays. They have adopted a sedentary lifestyle, and they let their children depend on fast food instead of cooking healthy meals.  They also allow their children to spend a lot of time on screen and don’t encourage healthy physical activities like exercise, games, etc. ultimately, there is a sedentary lifestyle, and there is an increased risk of childhood obesity. As a result, childhood obesity occurs, which leads to serious medical complications. 

What are the Complications of Childhood Obesity?

There are various complications of childhood obesity, including the following:


Childhood obesity increases the risk of diabetes because it affects the way our body uses glucose and ultimately leads to Type 2 diabetes mellitus. About 90% of diabetics are obese. It increases insulin resistance. Excess of fat in adipose tissue leads to inflammation which is one of the causes of insulin resistance. It also causes expanding of fats in other tissues such as the liver and skeletal muscles, which increases insulin resistance. Increased insulin resistance leads to type two diabetes mellitus or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM). Obesity also causes metabolic syndrome.

High cholesterol levels: 

Excessive fats in the body lead to high cholesterol levels in the blood.  In obese children, 52% have elevated serum cholesterol levels, i.e., greater than 170 mg/dl. It leads to atherosclerosis and hardening of vessels, which impedes blood supply to the heart causing myocardial infarction and stroke in later life.

Cardiovascular abnormalities:

Obesity causes atherosclerosis, hardening of vessels, Diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome associated with increased risk of cardiovascular abnormalities like myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, arterial fibrillation, atherosclerosis, and thromboembolism. 

Fatty liver:

Excess of expends from adipose tissues is deposited in normal body organs like the liver etc. Accumulation of excess fat in the liver causes a condition known as Fatty liver. There is inflammation and scar formation. Excessive scarring leads to the replacement of normal tissue with scars; it’s called “Cirrhosis of the liver,” which can lead to severe complications like liver failure and liver cancer. 


Being overweight or having obesity may make you more likely to develop gallstones, especially if you are a woman. Researchers have found that people who have obesity may have higher levels of cholesterol in their bile, which can cause gallstones.


Childhood obesity leads to a decrease in sperm count. It decreases docosahexaenoic acid in spermatozoa that increase DNA fragmentation, which reduces sperm count. Girls with childhood obesity were seen to have problems conceiving in later life. 


 Childhood obesity is related to depression. Fat cells contain many interleukin VI and TNF alpha, inflammatory cytokines. Prolonged inflammation is associated with depression because our brain perceives and deals with it as it deals with stress. The risk of depression in obese girls is 30% high, and in boys, it’s 20% greater, according to the National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey.


Childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of asthma in children. It increases the risk of asthma by Th_1 skewed response and also decreases response to various medicines in asthma. Reduced response to corticosteroids in asthma is observed in obese children. Elevated interleukin VI levels is a  marker of asthma. It is produced by adipose tissues.

Bone and joint damage:

Obese children have early onset of arthritis. Extra weight causes pressure on joints, as a result, damage them. The femoral epiphysis is common among obese children. It also leads to flat feet and Achilles tendonitis. 


Childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. 

Decreased lifespan: 

All the mentioned conditions decrease lifespan. There is reduced life expectancy. 

Causes of Childhood Obesity

There are many causes of childhood obesity, including the following:

1. Diet

Intake of many desserts drinks, eating too many snacks, or skipping can lead to childhood obesity.

2. Lack of exercise

Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity can lead to childhood obesity. Not exercising regularly or having large screen time are also included as the causes of childhood obesity.

3. Psychological factors

Personal, familial or any kind of stress, anxiety or depression can lead to overeating and childhood obesity.

4. Familial

Children with a family history of obesity are prone to childhood obesity.


Statistics for overweight and obesity rates for adults and children in the US in 2011-2012 showed that 34.9 percent of all adults in the United States were obese, it will increase the risk of severe diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.

According to Conor Steward, the prevalence of childhood obesity in Germany from 1975 to 2016, there was a greater prevalence of childhood obesity among male children in Germany than females. Male children were 23 percent more likely to be classified obese. 

According to the World Obesity Federation’s Atlas of Childhood Obesity, 250 million children and adolescents will be obese by 2030.

How to Prevent Childhood Obesity?

  • Improve your lifestyle
  • Ask your child to exercise regularly
  • Make healthy snacks available
  • Don’t let your child eat too many sweets
  • Make your child sleep properly
  • Limit the amount of fast food your child and family consumes
  • Avoid fizzy and sugar-filled drinks like soda
  • Minimize screen time and prefer healthy physical activities like exercise etc


Childhood obesity has become one of the emerging problems because of changes in our lifestyle and changed eating habits. It proves to be a doorway to many diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disorders, sexual dysfunction, metabolic disorders, arthritis and bone abnormalities, asthma, and many other complications.

Nutrition education for kids is vital to reduce the epidemic of childhood obesity and childhood diabetes. This Kid’s Nutrition Specialist course will teach you dietary education, kid’s nutritional facts and games, and much more to combine with your existing fitness and nutrition business model.

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NESTA coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.

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