What’s Causing My Child's Obesity?

What’s Causing My Child's Obesity?

Childhood obesity rates are on the rise — in fact, about one out of every five kids between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As with adult obesity, childhood obesity is complex, involving genetic, behavioral, medical, and lifestyle factors. 

Managing obesity means having a plan designed to address all of those factors. At Nevada Pediatric Specialists, we understand the unique challenges of childhood obesity as well as the serious health problems it can cause. If your child has a weight issue, here’s what could be causing it and how our team can help.

Causes of childhood obesity

For children, the factors that cause or contribute to obesity are the same as they are for adults — and, unfortunately, the list is pretty long. Some of the most common causes include:

Some medications can increase weight gain, along with certain medical conditions. Kids are also more likely to be overweight or obese if they have close family members with weight issues.

Help your child make healthy choices

One big problem is that, unlike adults, kids don’t have much say over what food is available to them. For most (or all) of childhood, those decisions are made by parents or caregivers, including what meals are served, how much fast food is consumed, and what types of snacks are on hand at home.

Parents also influence kids’ habits by demonstrating unhealthy eating habits themselves. If you eat a lot of unhealthy foods, snack a lot between meals, or eat mindlessly in front of the TV or computer, you could be sending the wrong signals to your kids.

As an adult, you know it’s not always easy to lose weight. It’s the same for your child. At Nevada Pediatric Specialists, our team works with each child to create an individualized weight-management plan tailored to your child’s habits, age, health needs — even food preferences.

Weight management that works

Weight management starts with a physical exam and a review of all of the factors that could be influencing your child’s weight and health. Depending on the results of that exam, your child’s treatment plan could include:

Routine office visits ensure your child’s weight-management plan stays on track and helps your child stay focused and motivated.

Set the stage for your child’s healthy future

Research shows kids who struggle with their weight are much more likely to have weight problems as adults, too. That means they’ll be at increased risk of serious health problems, like heart attack, heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia.

Investing in weight management while your child is young establishes healthy patterns that can last a lifetime. To learn more about weight management at Nevada Pediatric Specialists, call us at 702-457-5437 or book an appointment online at either our Henderson or Las Vegas, Nevada, office today.

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