Adolescent Obesity: When Does It Begin?

Adolescent Obesity: When Does It Begin?

The typical onset of obesity occurs between the ages of 5 and 6 or during adolescence. A youngster who is fat between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80% probability of becoming obese adolescents. Lifestyle factors — insufficient physical activity and excessive caloric intake from food and beverages — are the primary causes of childhood obesity. However, genetic and hormonal variables may also play a role. weight gain

The problem of childhood obesity in the United States has expanded significantly in recent years. Approximately 12.7 million children and adolescents, or 17 percent, are obese. Obesity is one of the most specific medical disorders to diagnose but the hardest to manage.

Over 300,000 fatalities yearly are attributable to unhealthy weight increases due to poor diet and lack of exercise. If they do not learn and maintain improved food and activity habits, overweight children are significantly more likely to become overweight adults.

What causes obesity?

What causes obesity? - ShapeDown
What causes obesity? – ShapeDown

The multifaceted causes of obesity include genetic, biochemical, behavioral, and cultural variables. Obesity is caused by consuming more calories than the body burns. There is a 50 percent likelihood that a child of an obese parent will likewise be obese. Cold drinks and sweet items also can cause weight gain.

However, when both parents are obese, there is an 80% likelihood that their offspring will also be overweight. Although certain medical conditions can induce obesity, less than 1 percent of all cases of obesity are due to physical issues.

Adolescent obesity can be very dangerous for teens as it can cause cardiovascular disease and digestive and kidney diseases. Obese teens can also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or binge eating disorder. Disease control is highly associated with obesity. As parents, you have to help them lose weight.

Obese Childhood and adolescent obesity are associated with the following:


Nutrition - ShapeDown
Nutrition – ShapeDown

Food intake among children and adolescents is a multidimensional topic that covers the types of food consumed, the location of meals, the method of food preparation, and the eating habits of other family members.

Their guardians frequently determine the nutritional status of children and obese adults. Children who stay in a family where the guardian has poor eating habits and consumes excessive amounts of fats and oil are more likely to fall prey to excessive weight gain than children who reside in a household where healthy eating habits are prevalent.

A diet rich in low-fat dairy products, vegetables, fruits, and legumes reduces the likelihood of getting obese. In contrast, a diet rich in fats, oils, soft drinks, and sodium increases the probability of being obese.

Children whose families routinely dine out at restaurants or fast-food chains are more likely to be fat than those whose families eat at home regularly.

Similarly, children whose guardians prepare their meals using prepackaged or canned foods are more likely to develop obesity than children whose guardians prepare their meals with fresh produce and protein sources.

Lack of exercise

Children who engage in less physical activity are more likely to acquire extra body fat because they burn fewer calories. Watching too much television or playing video games for too long contributes to the issue. Also standard on television are advertisements promoting unhealthy foods.

Family factors

If your child has a family history of obesity, they may be more prone to gain weight. This is especially true when calorie-dense foods are readily available and physical activity is discouraged.

Psychological factors

Personal, familial, and parental stress can increase childhood obesity. Some youngsters overeat to deal with issues or emotions, such as stress, or to stave off boredom. Their parents may have comparable characteristics.

Socioeconomic factors

People in specific communities have limited resources and supermarket access. Therefore, they may purchase goods that do not perish rapidly, such as frozen dinners, crackers, and cookies. Additionally, residents of low-income communities may not have access to a safe area to exercise.

What Is Childhood Obesity?

Children are termed obese if their BMI is equal to or greater than 95 % of their siblings. BMI is employed to evaluate a person’s “weight status.” BMI is determined by utilizing a person’s height and weight.

What Is Childhood Obesity? - ShapeDown
What Is Childhood Obesity? – ShapeDown

With this information, one can calculate the body mass index percentile (i.e., where your BMI number ranks compared to the general population). Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to excess weight gain.

Childhood obesity poses a grave threat to children’s health. Obese adolescents are in danger of various long-term health issues, surpassing the status of merely being overweight. Poor health brought on by childhood obesity may persist into adulthood.

Obesity in children affects more than simply body health. Negative emotions and low self-esteem are common among children and adolescents who’ve been overweight or obese.

What Causes Childhood Obesity? - ShapeDown
What Causes Childhood Obesity? – ShapeDown

You may think, “I am aware my child is obese, but I do not know what to do.” This is commonplace. The therapy of pediatric obesity is comparable to the treatment of adult obesity; nevertheless, it is essential to discuss treatment with your children. Children rarely express their emotions because they fear disappointing their parents.

There are several available treatments for childhood obesity. These include medication, behavioral and lifestyle modifications, and bariatric surgery. In this part, we will focus on bariatric surgery.

To achieve a healthy weight, children with extreme obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 120 percent or above the 95th percentile, typically require a combination of all three treatments.

Social Problems For Obese Children And Adolescents

Social Problems For Obese Children And Adolescents - ShapeDown
Social Problems For Obese Children And Adolescents – ShapeDown

Obesity can significantly affect how youngsters perceive themselves and interact with others. Obese teenagers are more likely to have low self-esteem, which may influence other facets of their lives, such as the formation of friendships and school performance.

Obesity in childhood and adolescence increases risk factors for various diseases and problems in maturity, regardless of whether or not the adult is obese. Before children reach adulthood, it is crucial to recognize the condition and begin treatment. Ideally, obesity and overweight should be avoided.


Obesity is typically a lifelong problem. Most obese teens regain lost weight by returning to their previous eating and exercise patterns. To maintain a healthy weight, an obese adolescent must learn to consume and enjoy healthful foods in moderation and engage in regular physical activity.

Instead of focusing solely on their child’s weight problem, parents of obese children can boost their child’s self-esteem by highlighting their child’s talents and good traits.

Adolescent eating practices are influenced by biological, cultural, and environmental factors, such as the availability of high-density food options. You can save your kids from the need for weight loss surgery if you manage them to maintain an average weight as teenagers.

Jim Yi