childhood obesity

Childhood Obesity: Causes and Future Health Complications

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity can affect children and adolescents. If neglected, it might lead to serious health complications in the future including psychological problems like depression. Pediatricians in healthcare clinics in Nashville can help you maintain a healthy weight for your child.

Causes of childhood obesity

Unfortunately in today’s digital world, adults and children spend more time staring at a computer screen (phone, tablet, computer) and rarely do they play outside. Less physical activity and eating more than necessary (binge eating) are the main factors responsible for causing childhood obesity.


Regular consumption of fast foods, baked goods, and unhealthy snacks can cause your child to gain extra weight. By continuing to consume these foods plus sugary or carbonated drinks will develop into a habit and your children will become obese.

This doesn’t have to happen.  Proper nutrition is vital to proper growth and development.  Teach them (and yourselves) the proper foods to eat to become healthy and strong.

Lack of exercise

Staying inside and staring at a screen, whether it is a computer device or TV, is not helpful to your child’s health.  Have them play outside, get interested in sports, find some outside activity that requires movement.  All movement will burn calories and require the body to rebuild internally.  This helps with your child’s proper growth and development and will serve them well through adolescence into adulthood.

Psychological factors

Teach your children about stress and find creative healthy ways to avoid using food as a solution to their problems.  Physical exercise and sports helps to release endorphins which provides a mental reward and increases their happiness.  Don’t let food, an artificial chemical release, be the answer.

Prevention of childhood obesity

The lifestyle changes mentioned above can help prevent childhood obesity. As the parent, it is your responsibility to help your child grow healthy and strong; but you don’t have to do it alone.  Medical clinics in Nashville, TN like Clinica Hispana La Paz want to help.  Our medical professionals understand what you and your child need and can help direct you in the proper foods and information to help your child stay healthy.

Things you can do right now:

  • Set a good example – When the whole family develops healthy eating habits and participates in physical activities together, it also keeps your children stay motivated. A healthy weight runs in the family.
  • Keep healthy snacks available – Is it snack time? Offer fresh fruits, yogurt, and nuts. Replace the fat and empty calorie-rich snacks with healthy foods so both of you can maintain a healthy body
  • Adequate sleep – Children usually need more sleep than you do. Their body is constantly changing and growing.  For the body to handle these changes they need sleep. Ensure your child gets enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to hormonal imbalances, which can also increase the risk of obesity.

Health Complications of Childhood Obesity

If you or your child is overweight there are many possible problems you or they could experience.

Type 2 diabetes – Obese children are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This condition affects the way your body uses glucose and could even result in death.

Joint Pain – Excess body weight causes more stress on your joints like your knees and hips. This will result in persistent pain in their back, hips, and knees and could even cause growth issues.

Breathing issues – Asthma is quite common among overweight children. Due to the extra weight the body cannot perform as needed to maintain their health; they can also develop sleep apnea, a serious health concern where your child will stop breathing during sleep.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – Obese children (and adults) could experience fat buildup in the liver, causing scarring or liver damage. Your child may not display any physical symptoms for this condition, but this problem could cause life threatening problems for your child.

A healthy diet, exercise, outside play time can greatly help keep your child healthy, happy and active.  In addition, regular checkups at a family healthcare clinic in Nashville, like Clinica Hispana La Paz, would greatly decrease the above risks.

A regular checkup screens for problems and monitors your child’s growth.  By tracking this information you can help ensure your child’s success and safety. Clinica Hispana La Paz offers many health care services in Nashville.

Let us help you and your child be healthy and happy.  Call or visit us today.