Causes of Childhood Obesity
Having a child who is obese can be a very difficult situation to handle. Many times parents will want to try everything they can to prevent their child from becoming obese. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best idea. In fact, there are many different reasons why a child may become obese. It can be genetic, a sedentary lifestyle, or learned behaviors from their parents.
Identifying the genetic causes of childhood obesity is an important step in understanding the disease. It also helps to reduce weight stigma and increase the acceptance of medical interventions.
In the past few decades, the rate of common childhood obesity in the US has increased dramatically. It is now common for one in four children to be overweight by age 5.
The genetic causes of childhood obesity are multifactorial. Environmental and lifestyle factors play a role in the development of obesity. However, inherited genetic variants play a much larger role in determining body mass.
Genetic studies have been able to identify 250 genetic regions that are associated with obesity. However, many of the gene variants identified are relatively rare. Therefore, too many children have to be analyzed to test them all.
There are three main types of genetic variants that contribute to obesity. These are monogenic, polygenic, and syndromic. Each type affects the body weight differently. A monogenic type involves one gene mutation that affects the phenotype. Polygenic and syndromic types of obesity are associated with a number of gene mutations, but the phenotype remains relatively common.
The MC4R pathway is involved in regulating satiety, appetite, and hunger. Variations in this gene are significantly associated with obesity. In addition, the PHIP gene is also associated with obesity. These variants affect body weight control and may contribute to development delays.
Prader-Willi syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder due to chromosomal deletions in the 15q11.2 region. It causes neurosensory deficits, short stature, and feeding difficulties. It is also associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Other syndromic forms of childhood obesity include Down syndrome, Cohen syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. These disorders are caused by chromosomal deletions or methylation defects in the 15q11.2 region.
Learned behaviors from parents
Among the many contributors to childhood obesity, learned behaviors from parents are a big deal. Specifically, parents play a major role in the development of healthy eating and activity behaviors. In turn, they have a major role to play in the prevention of childhood obesity.
A new generation of research needs to identify which parenting strategies are most effective. It is also important to consider the social contexts and cultural norms that shape a child’s health.
A social facilitation maintenance program, for example, teaches children strategies to maintain healthier habits in their social contexts. While there is some debate as to which social facilitation model is the most effective, there is some evidence to suggest that the best practice is to engage the social support system early on.
Several studies have examined the role of parents in reducing weight and improving weight-related outcomes. The findings are mixed. Some studies found that parents play a critical role in promoting healthy behaviors while others found that parental involvement is not always a rosy proposition.
The role that parents play in obesity prevention is critical and complex. Parents are not always equipped to address this problem, a situation that may be exacerbated by their low socioeconomic status. However, this does not mean that health programs can’t address the issue. In fact, parental involvement in obesity prevention may help lower children’s weight and increase their chances for healthy adulthood.
Parenting strategies that are most effective have to be customized to each individual child. This is especially true of children with lower socioeconomic status, which can limit their ability to participate in high-intensity contact programs. Parents also need to be educated about nutrition, fitness, and the benefits of exercise.
Various surveys suggest that a lack of physical activity is a leading cause of obesity and other health-related issues, especially among children. Hence, addressing the sedentary lifestyle in a child is of paramount importance.
It is important to recognize that a sedentary lifestyle can have a negative effect on the cardiovascular prognosis of a child. For example, sedentary lifestyles may contribute to a child’s risk of developing diabetes.
In the context of childhood obesity, it is interesting to note that most children spend their time indoors playing electronic games. This is in stark contrast to the time spent outside. Therefore, it is important to promote the health benefits of outdoor play. For example, parents can make their children take morning walks or bike rides. They can also encourage children to play sports instead of video games.
To test the association between physical activity and the above mentioned aforementioned gizmo, a survey was conducted. The study was conducted online, with written informed consent being provided by the participants’ legal guardians. The results of the study were then analyzed using both a linear and logistic regression model. The latter was applied after adjusting for potential confounders. The main outcome was a tally of the relative significance of the various components of the multi-factor model.
As a result of the study, a new set of recommendations was developed. Among these were the following: a) children should be exposed to nature on a regular basis, b) parents should take the time to discuss healthy food choices with their children, c) parents should take the time to explain the health benefits of exercise, and d) parents should encourage their children to use stairs instead of elevators.
Having less sleep than necessary is a significant risk factor for obesity in both children and adults. It may affect appetite, hormone levels, and the thermic effect of food. It may also increase cravings for sugar, salt, and high-calorie junk foods.
Sleep deprivation may also lead to changes in growth hormone levels. Deprivation may increase the risk of obesity and decrease insulin resistance, leading to low energy expenditure and increased cravings for high-fat and sugar-laden snacks.
Children who sleep less than ten hours per day at age three have a 45 percent higher risk of becoming obese by age seven, compared to children who sleep ten hours or more. The link between sleep and obesity is independent of other factors that may lead to obesity. However, it remains to be determined whether the effects are causal or just a consequence of other factors.
The study looked at data on sleeping habits and the overall health of children from birth to age 7. Sleep was measured in a wrist device that tracked sedentary time, light physical activity, and food intake. During the study, 82 children with complete data were found to be sleeping less than recommended hours, with 48 minutes less sleep per night. The children were weighed and analyzed regularly until age seven.
The researchers found that, after accounting for other factors, sleep deprivation was the only factor that was independently associated with childhood obesity. The results also held true even after accounting for changes in sedentary time and physical activity. The researchers suggested that the increased appetite and low energy expenditure in kids deprived of sleep may be caused by changes in hormone levels.
Negative impact on school performance
Several studies have shown that obesity has a negative impact on school performance. Although the relationship between obesity and poor academic performance has been studied extensively, the mechanism behind this relationship is still largely unknown.
This study aimed to investigate the association between childhood obesity and academic performance in a way that was not limited to test scores. It was the first of its kind to take a broader look at this relationship, by looking at other factors.
One of the most important findings is that obesity is associated with a number of school-related health outcomes. These include lowered self-esteem, depression, and suicide. In addition, there are negative consequences for physical activity and nutrition. Obese children are also at a higher risk for school absenteeism.
In order to determine the most important associations between childhood obesity and school performance, researchers used a multilevel modeling (MLM) paradigm. The study included two groups of students: obese and normal-weight children. They modeled the educational outcomes using a combination of healthcare utilization, sociodemographic variables, and BMI. The study found that obesity was associated with all of the above and that the association between obesity and educational performance was significantly attenuated after adjustments for sociodemographic factors and healthcare utilization.
One of the major benefits of the study is that it offers an in-depth look at the correlations between obesity and a number of other factors. These include dietary habits, screen time, and unhealthy behaviors. This information may help parents and educators understand the impact of their children’s weight.
As a result of this study, educators have a better understanding of how to approach and integrate obese students into the classroom. It also provides useful information about how to best support overweight and obese children’s academic endeavors.
Health A to Z. (n.d.). HSE.ie. https://www2.hse.ie/az/
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Directory Health Topics. (n.d.). https://www.healthline.com/directory/topics
Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-a-z-4014770
Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z. https://www.health.harvard.edu/health-a-to-z
Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.). EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/