6 Potential Causes Of Unexplained Sudden Weight Gain In Kids
A mother’s or father’s peace of mind might be seriously disturbed by the realization that their child has all of a sudden gained a lot of weight.
If you’ve been there, you would understand what I’m referring to. Many of us have experienced it in the past, and we can all agree that what we first felt was that it was our, the parents, fault.
So many of us fail to realize how it might have happened considering how much effort and thought we put into nourishing our children.
Every single parent in this world would reasonably feel anxious and worried since they wouldn’t be able to tell what’s happening or what will follow.
As a therapist, I should begin by advising everybody to speak with their child’s doctor for them to rule out any possible medical concerns, such as troubles with medicine, metabolic issues, or other inherited or hormone symptoms.
So, which additional causes, if any, contribute to a child’s abrupt and otherwise unanticipated increase in weight, assuming metabolic issues are not of concern?
6 Potential Causes Of Unexplained Sudden Weight Gain In Kids
1. Binge Eating
Your youngster may have developed a binge eating disorder (BED). The quicker you can assist your child in getting healthy, the better. Kids who have binge eating disorders typically eat to cope with their emotions.
You will see that a sizable quantity of food is missing from the kitchen cupboard. You will see that a sizable quantity of food is missing from the kitchen cupboard. There could be food stashed away in their bedroom or under her pillow.
And when I mention missing food, I mean a ton of it—so much so that you may not think a person so little could consume that much.
Know that if your kid has a BED, they probably feel terrible guilt about it, which is why the food is hidden under the bed and they could feel awkward eating in front of you and other people.
The problem could start as a strategy to cope with the pressures at home or in the classroom, but it could develop into abnormal eating habits that lead to them skipping meals and bingeing on junk food instead at odd hours when they can snack alone and in private.
Children who overeat may also experience anxiety, guilt, humiliation, and depression.
Apart from the consequences to their mental wellbeing, binge eating disorder can result in being obese, experiencing fat-shaming, and weight fluctuations, known as yo-yo dieting, if it is not addressed.
2. Being Bullied
Your youngster spends the majority of their time at school and with their pals. Keep in mind that everything that occurs at school has just as much significance for your children as it does for you.
Check with your child to ensure that they aren’t being mistreated, either in class or on social media channels, if you see them putting on weight unexpectedly.
Children with disabilities or specificities that make them stand out in any manner, be it favorable or unfavorable ones, are also more vulnerable to bullying, as are youngsters who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Children who experience bullying might be reluctant to talk to their parents about it, but you will see behavioral changes in them.
Identify patterns of unfavorable conduct that could point to depression in your kid, including mood swings or anxiety, avoidance of social situations, changes in sleeping habits, loud overreactions or panicking, trouble focusing, exhaustion or extreme fatigue, and somatic ailments like stomach pains or headaches that won’t improve with medication.
3. Prolonged Idleness
Back in the day when summertime arrived, we all headed to the countryside to play, run, and ride bikes to experience nature.
Nowadays, an increasing number of kids stay indoors and spend endless hours in front of their laptops or TV screens, watching shows or playing video games. Not to mention the time they spend on their phones, scrolling down their social media feeds.
Today’s kids are forced to lead sedentary lives and have developed a passion for playing games on their smartphones.
If your child is left alone at home while you are working, their increased weight may be the result of a combination of a sedentary lifestyle and easily available snacks and unhealthy foods that are stored in your kitchen’s cupboards.
4. A Big Change
Relocating is a difficult experience for grownups, whether it’s from one town to the next or one house to another.
The kids living with them can also feel the changes in the parents’ emotional state, the anxiety, and the stress that occurs from such a big move.
Furthermore, for children, relocating to a new home means parting from their pals, classroom, and sense of belonging, which may trigger your kid and have them turn to food for comfort. And who hasn’t turned to food for comfort?
We’ve all done it at least once, so imagine what it would be like having to leave your perfect life behind and leave for the unknown when you are still a kid.
Some of us might have done that, so we can tell that food would be something that could take the ‘pain’ away for a bit.
5. Parents Getting Divorced
In the field of psychology, there are several schools of thought addressing how divorce affects kids.
Some experts contend that divorce, which brings about a good transformation and strengthens the resilience of kids raised by unhappy parents, is the best possible outcome for them.
However, other studies have discovered a link between divorce and a higher risk of childhood and teenage adjustment problems, such as scholastic challenges, dysfunctional behaviors, and depression.
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, you should anticipate that going through a difficult breakup might mean that your kids will start eating more and gain a lot of weight, as they would be using food as a coping mechanism.
6. Changes In Hormones
In practically every kid’s life, there comes a time when gaining weight is not a result of stress, despair, seeking solace in food, or any other coping mechanism.
It is natural and even beneficial for your kid to put on weight as they get closer to adolescence since their hormones are kicking in and their bodies are developing.
For example, girls require a specific volume of body fat for the onset of menstruation, so gaining some weight is probably a good thing for them, even necessary!
The Bottom Line
There are many reasons why your kid might be gaining weight and becoming overweight. Some of them might be medical and, in that case, a doctor should intervene.
However, if your child is healthy, you should look for other changes in their lives and yours that might affect their mood or eating behavior.
Of course, you wouldn’t want your kid to go through what you are experiencing, but that is something you cannot always control. And fortunately for them, you are there to support them.
So make sure that your child knows that they can always speak to you about any issues they have or any thoughts that might be troubling them so that you can figure out what the best way is to help them!