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What is BMI, and when do you say that a person is obese? – Part 2

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a tool that helps you to measure the amount of body fat you have, based on your height and weight.

Body mass index (BMI)

• This measure assesses weight relative to height.
• It is the same as the body mass index used to identify adult obesity.
• BMI is defined as weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared (kg/m2).
• BMI can be calculated in pounds and inches.
• BMI is closely related to body fat percentage but much easier to measure.
• BMI is the standard for defining obesity in adults, but its use in children is not universal.

What are the Effects of Obesity?

– Obesity increases the risk for serious health conditions like:
• Type 2 diabetes
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Low self-esteem that stems from being teased, bullied, or rejected by peers.

– Kids who are unhappy with their weight may be more likely to :
• develop unhealthy dieting habits and eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
• be more prone to depression.
• be at risk for substance abuse.

– Overweight and obese kids are at risk for developing medical problems which include:
• high blood pressure
• high cholesterol
• abnormal blood lipid levels
• insulin resistance
• type 2 diabetes
• bone and joint problems
• shortness of breath that makes exercise, sports, or any physical activity more difficult
• may aggravate the symptoms or increase the chances of developing asthma
• restless or disordered sleep patterns
• obstructive sleep apnea
• tendency to mature earlier
• overweight kids may be taller and more sexually mature than their peers
• they might look old but are not as old as they are
• overweight girls may have irregular menstrual cycles and fertility problems in adulthood
• liver and gall bladder disease
• depression

– Cardiovascular risk factors present in childhood (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes) can lead to serious medical problems like:
• heart disease
• heart failure
• stroke

Causes of Overweight

Childhood Obesity Causes
• Genetic factors
• Dietary habits
• Eating when not hungry
• Eating while watching TV or doing homework
• Drinking sodas during sedentary activities
• Socioeconomic status
• The popularity of television, computers, and video games has translated into an increasingly sedentary (inactive) lifestyle for many children.
• Children and teenagers use little energy (calories), and TV also encourages snacking and sipping.
• Less of regular physical exercise.

Childhood Obesity Treatment

• The most important thing parents can do for an obese child is to be supportive.
• Child’s feelings about himself or herself are at least partly determined by your feelings.
• Let your child know that you love and accept him or her — at any weight.
• Encourage.
• Do not criticize.
• Be aware of your child’s concerns about appearance and social relationships.

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