All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > School & Family Life > Kids' Health Issues: 2011 > Obesity-Related Health Problems in Kids
Obesity-Related Health Problems in Kids

Obesity-Related Health Problems in Kids

It's well known that childhood obesity is a risk factor for chronic diseases in adulthood. But what many parents might not realize until problems arise is that overweight and obese kids and teens often have weight-related problems during childhood.

Kids who are considered obese (with a body mass index, or BMI, at or above the 95th percentile) are at risk for:

There's also thought to be a connection between obesity and early puberty, especially in girls. Overweight kids tend to grow faster and enter puberty earlier, and obesity might play a role in earlier onset of breast development, usually the first sign that a girl is entering puberty.

What This Means to You

The far-reaching health problems associated with obesity have dire implications for kids right now. So it's vital that parents do all they can to help kids reach and maintain a healthy weight. Being a good role model is a key part of this — let your kids see you eating healthy foods in appropriate serving sizes, enjoying treats in moderation, and exercising regularly.

And you don't have to go it alone. The health care reform legislation includes $15 billion earmarked for public health programs designed to help prevent health problems and keep Americans healthy, including $16 million that will go toward combating obesity and promoting fitness. Another provision requires "nutrient content disclosure statements" at chain restaurants, which is significant since an estimated 84% of parents take kids for fast food at least once a week. Look for calorie counts and other nutritional breakdowns listed on in-store and drive-through menus soon.

The long-term picture, of course, is still important. Kids who reach a healthy weight not only have less risk for obesity-related problems, but are more likely to avoid obesity later. Results of a recent study show that obese teens are 16 times more likely to become severely obese in adulthood compared with those who are normal weight or overweight.

Consider talking to your doctor or a nutritionist about ways to fight obesity as a family.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: December 2010

Related Articles
T    5 Ways to Reach a Healthy Weight
K    Body Mass Index (BMI)
T    Body Mass Index (BMI)
P    Body Mass Index (BMI) Charts
P    Can Diabetes Be Prevented?
K    Can Diabetes Be Prevented?
P    Healthy Eating
P    High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
P    Metabolic Syndrome
T    Metabolic Syndrome
P    Overweight and Obesity
K    Type 2 Diabetes: What Is It?
P    Weight and Diabetes
K    What Being Overweight Means
T    When Being Overweight Is a Health Problem
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved