Obesity among children is on the rise in the U.S., despite widespread attempts at school and community levels to instill good habits early in life.
According to the WHO, a person is considered obese if they have an abnormally high level of body fat that puts their health in danger. In the United States, obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above for adults. By comparing the BMI of a kid with other children of the same age and sex, one may determine whether or not the child is obese. A person is deemed obese if their BMI exceeds the 95th percentile for their age and gender.
From kindergarten through fifth grade, two nationally representative samples of children were studied in the journal Pediatrics. First, a period of research spanned between 1998 and 2004, and second, between 2010 and 2016.
Children who did not have obesity concerns when they began kindergarten in 2010 had an obesity rate of around 16.2% at the end of fifth grade, compared to 15.5 percent for those in the same BMI category who began in 1998. Children in 2010 become fat at an earlier age than their 1998 counterparts, according to a new study.
Compared to their non-overweight counterparts, children who were overweight in preschool had a considerably increased chance of becoming obese as adults in both groups, the researchers discovered.
Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain malignancies, and severe instances of Covid-19 all have obesity as a key contributing factor.
Risk factors for childhood obesity
Because the research was conducted before the Covid-19 epidemic, it cannot take into consideration the consequences on childhood obesity caused by the pandemic itself. Some physicians, on the other hand, believe that rates, particularly among children of color, have continued to rise.
According to the findings, children of color, especially Black and Hispanic youngsters, have a higher than average chance of becoming obese as young adults. Compared to non-Hispanic Black children who began kindergarten in 1998 and were not overweight, those who started in 2010 were 29 percent more likely to become obese by the fifth grade.
Children’s obesity was shown to be unrelated to their family’s socioeconomic level, according to the findings of this research.