Home » Your Health » Children's Health News » Long Term Health Complications of Childhood Obesity

Long Term Health Complications of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. – in fact, according to statistics from the American Heart Association, about 1 in 3-kids and teenagers are overweight or obese according to medically accepted guidelines.

This is a not only a problem for kids now – it’s a problem that can follow them into adulthood, manifesting as both physical and mental issues.  While kids can develop previously “adult” diseases like Type 2 Diabetes while still in their childhood years, they can also develop serious health complications down the road if their lifestyle doesn’t change. Here are six long-term obesity complications…

1. High Blood Pressure

Obesity can affect people of all ages, whereas in the past it was considered a health problem that only affected older adults, explains WebMD. High blood pressure in children can lead to long-term health effects such as heart disease, kidney disease, and strokes.

Meanwhile, the same source explains that while it’s relatively easy to detect high blood pressure in adults (doctors simply compare your readings to a chart), it’s not so easy to determine the problem in children. In the case of kids, doctors use charts based on a child’s gender, height and blood pressure readings to determine if there’s an issue, it adds.

2. Dementia

An article from the Express in the U.K. explains says relatively new research has shown that obesity can increase the risk of developing dementia. The research comes from the University of Tel Aviv, and the article explains, “keeping in shape could help combat the dementia epidemic.”

It cites the study of about 500-subjects over 2-decades that shows insulin resistance from obesity can also cause “rapid mental decline,” with learning and problem-solving abilities impacted. The findings conclude there’s a link between Type 2 Diabetes and an increased risk of dementia.

3. Certain Cancers

Cancer.net says that adult obesity is an even bigger problem than childhood obesity, with 2-thirds of adults either considered obese or overweight. These conditions can lead to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and several others, notes the source.

The article explains several studies have focused on the relationship of obesity to cancers. The possible reasons uncovered include increased insulin levels and insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1); chronic inflammation; and higher estrogen levels from fatty tissue.

4. Lowered Self-Esteem and Confidence

It’s not just physical problems that can stem from childhood obesity, warns the Childhood Obesity Foundation in Vancouver, Canada. Psychological impacts can be noticed during childhood, and overweight children are more likely to be bullied or bully others, which can have lasting health effects of their own.

This can lead to poorer social skills (and social isolation), anxiety, depression, and even learning difficulties related to the childhood obesity, adds the source. These challenges can last into adulthood.

5. Heart Disease

The Cleveland Clinic explains that childhood obesity has doubled in the past 30-years – which in itself is an alarming fact. Another alarming fact: of adolescent children who are overweight or obese, up to 60-percent of them have at least 1-risk factor for cardiovascular disease (which includes heart disease), it adds. “As the prevalence of obesity has increased, the prevalence for cardiovascular problems has too,” says an expert cited in the article.

The source also explains you can’t easily tell if a child is overweight simply by looking at them. There are specific measurements and charts used by doctors to make this determination, it adds. Early screening for obesity is helpful, and may also paint a better picture of your own risk as a parent for developing cardiovascular disease, says the clinic.

6. Osteoarthritis

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that musculoskeletal disorders (mainly osteoarthritis) are one of the biggest health consequences stemming from childhood obesity.

This form of arthritis is different from rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition affecting joints. Osteoarthritis is a “wear and tear” type of arthritis leading to the breaking down of cushioning between joints, notes the Arthritis Foundation. While the foundation says there’s no specific cause for osteoarthritis, it notes excess weight can be a factor. “Many years of carrying extra pounds can cause the cartilage that cushions joints to break down faster,” it adds, also noting “excess of fat tissue” can produce inflammatory chemicals that can damage joints.


More on ActiveBeat
  • Best and Worst Foods For Gallbladder Issues
    For the many Americans who suffer from gallbladder issues, like gallstones, on a daily basis, it's important to learn more about nutrition with a special focus on foods that won't...
    Children's Health News
  • Common Health Problems Related to Fingernails
    If you can't quite put a finger on what's ailing you, perhaps you should take a closer look at your fingernails.
    Children's Health News
  • How Stress Can Affect Our Physical Health
    We all deal with a little bit of stress from time to time. We all go through at some point, some more than others, it can happen at work, during school, or anytime we get...
    Children's Health News
  • The Best Anti-Aging Foundation For Mature Skin
    Aging is inevitable, but that doesn't stop us from trying to slow the whole process down or at least look good while we're doing it!
    Children's Health News
  • The Best Mascaras for Long Lashes
    Most women dream about having longer and fuller lashes. One can only hope! It's also one of the main reasons we invented mascara in the first place.
    Children's Health News
  • The Best Face Washes for Sensitive Skin
    The struggle is real for people with sensitive skin who are looking for a good face wash that won't irritate their skin, especially since most products contain an array of...
    Children's Health News
  • Best Natural Remedies For Gout
    Gout is a type of arthritis that causes a great deal of pain and discomfort in the joints.
    Children's Health News
  • Marfan’s Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
    Marfan's syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue. While it's not widely known or commonly heard of, according to The Marfan Foundation it affects 1...
    Children's Health News
  • A Breakdown Of The Myers-Briggs Personality Types
    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test that examines all the different personality types and how a person's personality can dictate their strengths and...
    Children's Health News
  • Reasons You’re Waking Up In The Night
    We've all been there before, lying awake at night, tossing and turning, wondering why you're unable to sleep.
    Children's Health News
  • Foods Good For Your Kidneys
    The kidneys have an extremely important job. We all have two bean-shaped organs located below our ribs and on either side of our spine.
    Children's Health News
  • Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Liver Disease Patients
    The liver is a vital organ that converts food into essential nutrients. However, liver disease can develop silently and gradually over time due to several factors—including drug...
    Children's Health News
  • Plants That Repel Mosquitoes Naturally
    There's nothing more frustrating than that familiar buzzing followed by the itchy prick of a mosquito while you're trying to enjoy a nice evening or day outside.
    Children's Health News
  • Mesothelioma Stages: What to Expect
    Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that is often caused by asbestos exposure. It's an "aggressive, malignant cancer caused when inhaled asbestos fibers lodge in the lining of...
    Children's Health News
  • Symptoms of Sugar Withdrawal and How to Cope
    There are so many amazing health benefits that come from cutting out sugar. Not only does it reduce a person's risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, it also helps them lose...
    Children's Health News