About Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and
Immediate health effects:
Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease,
such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based
sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk
factor for cardiovascular disease.
Obese adolescents are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in
which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.
Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and
joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as
stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
Long-term health effects:
Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and
are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease,
type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. One
study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more
likely to be obese as adults.
Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types
of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus,
kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as
well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
5-2-1-0 AZ Way To Go! is a nationally-recognized project focused on dealing
with the epidemic of childhood obesity. A special toolbox developed by the
AzAAP Childhood Obesity Committee provides pediatricians a variety of
materials to help parents and their kids understand the simple steps they
can take to live a healthy lifestyle. The 5-2-1-0 concept includes: Eating 5
fruits and vegetables a day; limiting kids to 2 hours in front of the TV or
other technology; 1 or more hours of physical activity per day; and a focus
on reducing the consumption of sugary drinks to close to 0.
To find out more about the toolkit and how you can utilize it in your
practice or school setting, click here:
Health Care Providers
If you’d like access to Arizona-specific resources as a parent or other
concerned citizen, visit our Community