with obesity are more likely to deal with social
problems such as bullying and anxiety, depression,
low self-esteem, and other psychological issues.
Down the road, children with obesity are more
likely to become adults with obesity, which is
associated with conditions such as heart disease,
type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Q: How can parents help their children
be less sedentary?
A: Parents should encourage their children to be
physically active and to spend less time watching
television and using electronic devices. One of the
best ways to do this is by setting a good example.
When parents make exercise a fun activity for the
whole family, everybody benefits.
→ Visit valleyhealthlink.com/physicians to find a
pediatrician or family care provider to serve the
healthcare needs of your family.
Tips for Avoiding—and
According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, childhood obesity affects some 12.7 million
children and adolescents throughout the United States—
approximately 17 percent of America’s youth. Physicians
at Valley Health family practices and clinics see the
effects of obesity on children and will work with families
as they take positive steps to ensure their kids achieve
and maintain a healthy weight. Below are answers to
questions Valley Health providers are often asked.
Q: What are the contributing factors and warning
signs for childhood obesity?
A: Childhood obesity is a complex issue that can be influenced by many
different factors. The two greatest of these are diet and lifestyle. If a child
eats a lot of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and maintains a fairly
sedentary lifestyle, he or she is likely to gain excess weight.
Q: What steps should parents take to combat
A: Parents should ensure that their children eat a healthy, balanced diet
with a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean-protein foods,
and low-fat and fat-free dairy products. By establishing daily meal and
snack times, and eating together as frequently as possible, parents can help
their children have regular—and sensibly portioned—meals.
Q: What are the impacts of childhood obesity?
A: There are both immediate and long-term impacts of childhood obesity.
In the short term, children with obesity are more likely to have high blood
pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes; breathing problems such as asthma
and sleep apnea; joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort; fatty liver
disease; gallstones; and gastroesophageal reflux. Additionally, children
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