Childhood Obesity And Diabetes!

Childhood Obesity and Diabetes

Childhood Obesity and Diabetes!

Noncommunicable diseases..! These are the biggest challenges of this century and childhood obesity is an important part of this. Every parent is worried about every small thing when it comes to their child’s health. The prevalence of obesity among 5-19-year-old Indian children ranges between 3.6 – 11.7% and by 2025 there will be 17 million obese children in India.

Obesity has led to a dramatic increase in Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in children and adolescents. It not only affects the physical well-being of children but also their mental health. Unfortunately, this problem is increasing and according to a study, the percentage of obese children has tripled since 1970.

What is Obesity?

Obesity means the presence of an excess amount of fat in the body. It occurs due to the consumption of an excessive amount of calories that the body can use.

Body Mass Index > 85th percentile for age and sex is considered overweight and >95th percentile is diagnosed as obesity.


Obesity promotes insulin resistance, which in turn leads to T2DM.

Nowadays, young children are getting type 2 diabetes, which is also known as adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes in children is a long-term disease. Without treatment, the disorder can lead to serious long-term consequences. Children are prone to get Type 2 diabetes because of obesity problems.

T2DM is often asymptomatic. Genetic and environmental risk factors such as maternal obesity, gestational diabetes, and lack of physical activity should be identified. Major risk factors for T2DM include overweight and obesity, signs of insulin resistance including acanthosis nigricans, hypertension, impaired lipids, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

T2DM has long term complications like

  • Progressive neuropathy

  • Retinopathy leading to blindness

  • Nephropathy leading to chronic renal failure

  • Cardiovascular disease leading to stroke

  • Myocardial infarction

  • Sudden death


Weight loss and/or prevention of weight gain is the best way to prevent T2DM among children with risk factors for the disease.

Reversing obesity through lifestyle changes plays a major role,

Simple steps to prevent T2DM:

  • Avoid consumption of calorie-dense, nutrition-poor foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, fast foods, high-fat or high-sodium processed foods, and calorie-dense snacks.

  • Retinopathy leading to blindness

  • Increase the intake of dietary fiber, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Follow timely, regular meals, and avoid constant “grazing” during the day, especially after school and after supper.

  • Encourage the consumption of whole fruits rather than fruit juices.

  • Make your child get engaged in at least 20 minutes, optimally 60 minutes, of vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week

  • Limit the nonacademic screen time to 1 to 2 hours per day

  • Foster healthy sleep patterns in children and adolescents to decrease the likelihood of developing obesity due to changes in caloric intake and metabolism related to disordered sleep.

A healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent obesity and diabetes in children. If your child is already having diabetes, then make sure your child eats healthy and follows a healthy lifestyle so that the risk of complications is reduced. Opt for Pharmacotherapy with specific medication only when lifestyle modification has failed.

Parents! If you notice any of the severe signs or symptoms of obesity and diabetes in your child, immediately consult a paediatric endocrinologist. Also, make a visit to the hospital at least once a year for a full body checkup. Make sure to note and focus on your child’s height and weight frequently. Visit Kangaroo Care – Women & Children Hospitals in Bangalore and Mysore, one of the best child care hospitals. Consult Us.!


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