Weight Loss Crucial for Obese Kids

As more and more adults look for weight loss solutions, studies show that the number of obese kids continues to rise.

A recent study looked at data from 710,949 children and teens between the ages of 2 and 19 who belonged to Kaiser Permanente Southern California integrated health plan in 2007 and 2008. A review of the data found that 7.3% of boys and 5.5% of girls were considered extremely obese. Minority groups saw even higher rates of childhood obesity, with 11.9% of black teenage girls and 11.2% of Hispanic teenage boys being classified as extremely obese. For the purpose of the study, a BMI of 35 or weighing more than 1.2 times the 95th percentile was considered extreme obesity.

The concern among healthcare professionals is that children who are obese may continue to be obese as adults, which means an increased risk of serious health complications. Some of these children can be expected to develop chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes or certain types of cancer at a relatively young age if they are unable to lose weight.

To help obese kids achieve weight loss, parents are encouraged to model healthy behaviors at home. Preparing healthy meals and having fruits and vegetables on hand for snacks reinforce healthy eating habits. Likewise, engaging in physical activity during family time helps children lead more active lifestyles. While it’s believed that genetics may play some role in the obesity of children, weight loss can be achieved in most cases through environmental and behavioral changes.