Health risk of being overweight during adolescence

            The problem of obesity in adolescence has grown considerably worse in recent years. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that an adolescent is a person that is 10-19 years of age. Nearly twenty percent of this population in this world is considered as obese. This is a growing issue that needs special attention. If this problem remained untreated, teens are at a great risk of having to face serious health problems in their later life. This article will discuss causes, health risks and effects of being overweight during adolescence (sebab, risiko dan kesan obesiti kepada remaja).

What is overweight and obesity? What are the causes?

            Being overweight means a person has a body mass index (BMI) of 25 until 29.9. Meanwhile, a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above will means that the person is considered as obese. There are a lot of causes that contribute to adolescence being overweight. These include:

1.    Lack of exercise

2.    Eating too many unhealthy foods such as diet high in simple carbohydrates and fats

3.    Genetics

4.    Environments

5.    Diseases such as hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome and Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

6.    Medications such as corticosteroids, antidepressant and seizure medication

7.    Psychological factors such as stress, depression and not having enough sleep

What are the health risks and complications?

Being overweight during adolescence means that there are increase chances of being obese as well. This might give a lot of health problems in the future. Some main health risks and complications include:

1. Diabetes. Diabetes means having a high sugar level in your blood. This disease is a serious chronic problem because it can lead to other chronic diseases as well. The lists include stroke, heart disease and also kidney problems.

2. Hypertension. Hypertension is also called high blood pressure. Being overweight means there is an increased risk of having high blood pressure. Same as diabetes, this disease usually leads to other chronic illnesses in the future such as cardiovascular problems, strokes and kidney disease as well.

3. Heart disease. Being obese means increase problems with the heart. The list of heart diseases that is usually caused by obesity are coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart arrhythmia and heart failure.

4. Cancer. A study has shown that any increase in body mass index (BMI) will increase the chance of having cancer. Hence, an obese person is more susceptible to any type of cancer in this world.

5. Breathing difficulty. People who are overweight will usually have a problem with their lungs. Many obese patients mentioned that they usually had asthma, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and lung infections.

How do I help prevent obesity in my child?

As a parent, we need to be responsible for our child’s health. We need to make sure that they live a healthy life as much as possible. There are a lot of ways that you can help prevent obesity in your child.

1.    Be a role model to your children by living a healthy lifestyle.

2.    Prepare a healthy diet for the family by making sure they get enough nutrients.

3.    Keep the refrigerators full with healthy food supplies such as low-fat milk, fruits and vegetables.

4.    Encourage your children to play sports or become active for 60 minutes every day.

5.    Set a limit to your children’s screen time.

6.    Encourage your child to drink more plain water as it can help with the body metabolism.

7.    Advise your children to get enough sleep by going to bed early because study has shown that early bedtimes can prevent obesity.

Go for regular checkups and talk to the doctor for maintaining your adolescent’s healthy life. There are times when the parents are not aware of a few diseases that their child has and they simply keep working on the weight and obesity balance. If the above mentioned things don’t work, then for a clear picture find doctor, talk to them and get your child’s health screened.