Obesity is a disease, in which metabolism is violated and there occurs excessive accumulation of body fat. According to most researchers of this problem, the main causes of obesity are excessive food intake and lack of physical activity. Heredity also plays an important role, but people run hereditary mechanisms of obesity themselves by not respecting the basic rules.
What contributes to obesity? Irrational, unbalanced, abundant food. It is consumption of excessive amounts of easily digestible carbohydrates (sweets, flour, etc.) and fats (butter, fatty meats, lard, etc.) and inadequate intake of vitamins, essential trace elements and other vital components of nutrition. Predominance in our diet of refined products also contributes to obesity. Refining, according to specialists, nutritionists, results in the loss of many useful components that are needed for metabolic processes in our body to proceed normally.
Violation of eating regime (rare meals, overeating in the evening) and sedentary lifestyle have been proven to result in obesity (Cole 10). Increased appetite leads to excessive consumption of fatty foods, which in turn leads to obesity if a person inherited the lowest body's ability to oxidize (burn) fat. Nevertheless, the reason for the increased appetite often become not physiological needs of the body, but rather stress response.
In animals, the stress response is expressed in the fact that they either attack or flee. In both cases, muscles work, and thus consume energy. In human society, the reaction of "fight or flight" is rather discouraged. As a result, there is activated hyperphagic stress response. People eat out of abundant stress with fatty or sweet foods. In this way, react both stout and thin people, but the first one and a half times more frequently than the latter.
Obesity can be of two types: exogenous-constitutional (Alimentary) and Endogenous.
Exogenous-constitutional (Alimentary) obesity is when a person has a family history and implements it. Such a person is gaining excess weight, not eating properly, abusing fatty foods, moving little, which in itself triggers fat storage. Endogenous obesity is a result of some disease. Most often it is the disease of the endocrine system (e.g., decreased thyroid function). Close to endocrine disorders functional disorders of the hypothalamus. Hypothalamus is a brain structure that is responsible for the work of the food center. Psychiatric disorders often lead to a set of overweight.
There are several degrees of obesity. With obesity of the first degree, lighter, the body weight exceeds the norm by 15 - 20%. In obesity of the second degree – by 20 - 50%. With obesity of the third degree, body weight exceeds the norm by 50 - 100%. If excess body weight exceeds 100 % of the norm, then we say about obesity of the fourth degree. In this case, there is a real threat not only to the health, but also the patient's life. Calculation of the normal body weight for a child can be made as follows: the body weight of the child when he is 5 years of age is at average 19 kg. If the child is less than five years, for each missing year out of the number 19 two is subtracted; if more than 5, then for each lacking year there is added three (Cole et al. 1240).
Usually there are distinguished three constitutional types: asthenic, normosthenic, and hypersthenic. Asthenics have narrow bones; they are thin, with weak muscles, with very little body fat. Normosthenic’s musculature is well-developed, the proportions of the body are average. Hypersthenics are broad-shouldered, inclined to corpulence. Constitutional type is laid before birth, and one can hardly expect much to change it.
There are several periods in people’s life, when the probability of gaining extra pounds is especially great. These are the first 2 years of life; during the onset of sexual maturity (puberty); during pregnancy and lactation; during the climacteric period (both women and men). The critical period for the emergence of obesity are the first two years of life. Some experts predict that out of three children who scored overweight in early childhood, only one will have a normal weight. Others argue that almost all children (80%), who became plump in the first years of life, will remain full. For an adult to lose weight without negative side effects is very difficult.
Not to start the mechanism of setting extra pounds from an early age, especially if the parents or some older relatives are inclined to corpulence, it is necessary to monitor constantly the child's nutrition, from the first days of life. Especially if he was born large and is rapidly gaining weight. It is also essential to adjust the frequency of feedings. Large children are recommended to consume a little less food than other kids do. Parents should not accustom their kids to the sweet from the first days of life and in the future also limit sweets (not to give sugar water, put in the porridge the least allowed amount of sugar). It is necessary not to feed the baby with spicy or salty products (pickles, rich broth, etc.). Not limit, but rather encourage locomotor activity of the baby.
It happens, the child from early childhood through adolescence is not extremely prone to fatness, moved a lot, did not suffer from increased appetite. Still, suddenly, for no apparent reason, almost stops to get out of the kitchen. Returning from school, he immediately rushes to the fridge, he suffers from constant thirst (Locard et al. 723). Many aspects that are characteristic and natural in adolescence are markedly enhanced. Not simply excessive sweating, such a child can easily perspire. Not just mood swings, like everyone in this age - a teenager almost always is in a bad mood, tires quickly and is badly restored.
Excess fat accumulates on the neck, thighs, buttocks, waist The boys often have markedly increased breastы. Characteristic that despite the roundness of the body, hands and feet can stay thin. At particularly plump body parts, there may appear noticeable bluish stretch. On the neck due to increased pigment deposition, there can occur "collar" darker than the rest of the skin color.
Reinforced acne rash - not only on the face, but also on the chest, back, inside of the arms and thighs. The girls could have upset menstrual cycle; there may appear coarse dark hair on arms and legs and even on the upper lip. There may increase blood pressure, and hence the frequent headaches, low performance, a feeling of weakness.
All these are manifestations of disorders of the neuroendocrine system of teenager at the time of puberty, hormonal changes in the body. How "smooth" will this restructuring be depends on the hypothalamus, a special part of the brain. The hypothalamus is able to act directly on the body, and can participate in the management of the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. Several reasons can disrupt the normal operation of the hypothalamus. For example, if in the body there is a chronic infection - inflamed tonsils or adenoids, not treated bad teeth. There also contributes drinking and smoking of the teenager. In the summer - unconscionable reception of sunbathing; during the school year - increased training load, emotional stress due to complications of relationships with parents, teachers.
It is during this stressful time that there are disintegrating mechanisms responsible for puberty. At the same time, the appetite center can become excessively active. Doctors call this neuroendocrine disorder pubertal-juvenile basophilism. It is necessary to treat tis disease. In the first place, seeing the same symptoms, it is necessary to take the child to doctor immediately. There is needed advice of pediatricians, endocrinologists, neurologists. If it is required, doctors will appoint the necessary medication.
It is very probable indeed that medication will not be needed. What is necessary is to establish a diet, arrange meals so that the teenager does not experience a constant feeling of hunger. It is also useful to Increase the consumption of energy by the body, that is to load the muscles - brisk walking, jogging, swimming, skiing, if necessary, a special physiotherapy. Of course, it is necessary to eliminate foci of chronic infection, cure neglected teeth. Restrictions on fat, sweet, spicy, salty, flour, strong tea and coffee should also be observed. Drinks should be bought not on sugar, but rather its substitutes.
Menu of adolescent must include a lot of vegetables. Zucchini, cabbage (including sea water), fresh gooseberries and other: they enhance intestinal peristalsis, reduce cholesterol in the blood, creating a feeling of satiety, fullness. Most often, doctors recommend not to overfeed the baby. This means that in the body, there should enter the necessary and sufficient amount of nutrients, nutritional value of the diet should be correct.
One of the reasons for childhood obesity is one-sided, monotonous diet. It depends on the prevailing family culinary traditions, family and national habits. This is usually one of the excessive consumption of food components - proteins, fats or carbohydrates. Faster way to prepare breakfast (or dinner) is to cook pasta, fried eggs, sandwiches - with vegetables there is a lot of fuss.
What is the danger of a unilateral, monotonous food? If a person consumes an excessive amount of protein - the body cannot use it. Assimilation and excretion of protein from the body requires considerable stress of metabolism. Excess fat also dramatically disrupts metabolism, leading to indigestion, and most importantly - to an increased deposition of fat. Excess carbohydrate leads to the disruption of other types of exchange, to the formation of increased amounts of body fat, the fat is deposited in the depot. It is particularly important that the child receives the required amount of protein. This applies to almost all periods of development and, of course, to school age. It is during this period that he is experiencing intense mental and physical stress.
It is very important to keep the right balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. For children under 1 year, it is 1: 3: 5 on breastfeeding and at 1: 2: 4 in case of artificial feeding; for children over 1 year - 1: 1: 4. Mandatory components of child nutrition are minerals and vitamins needed for proper growth and development of bone and muscle, blood formation and nervous tissues, proper course of metabolic processes (O'Dea 261).
Obesity occurs in lesions and some structures of the central nervous system. This may also be due to an infectious process, and with an injury. In many cases, obesity develops in children after birth trauma or asphyxia (temporary respiratory failure, leading to a depletion of oxygen). Mechanical brain injury (fall, a blow to the head, etc.) can also cause severe obesity. A child can get overweight in the case of violation of the endocrine system (pubertal-juvenile basophilism). Endocrine organs are actively involved in metabolism. The decline and, conversely, increase in their function can be a source of trouble. Body will face either obesity or emaciation.
For example, when the thyroid function has been reduced, usually a child is quickly gaining excessive weight, and body mass while continuing to grow. Metabolic rate is markedly reduced. Children begin to move less. Even if such a child is restricted in food (compared to the norm), he still continues to gain weight. Treatment of such violation is the introduction of hormones. If such a person receives the missing thyroid hormone - tireoidin, the child becomes active, body weight normalizes.
Obesity at an early age and can be caused by a rare disease - hypophyseal syndrome. At preschool age, it is manifested by whims, increased irritability, at early school age - learning difficulties, and up to 12-13 years may appear as delayed puberty. Obesity in young children can accompany any chromosomal disorders. Fortunately, these developmental disorders are rare. In these cases, there is appointed a special examination and treatment.
Obesity greatly affects the physical state and behavior of the child. Overweight children later start walking, are slowly evolving, often ill, they have reduced immunity. Obesity adversely affects the state of many organs and systems of the child's body. Extra pounds are causing problems in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. In children, suffering from obesity, very often there is high blood pressure. They may complain of frequent headaches, pain in the heart. Often there is shortness of breath and palpitations. They start to sweat faster, become lethargic, inactive (McGarvey et al. 1490).
With obesity increases the load on the bones, joints, and spine. In the musculoskeletal system there may be changes - hence the pain and limited mobility. Possible violations of posture, curvature of the spine, flat feet. If traffic is hurt - the child begins to move less. It means that less fat is burned, obesity progresses. It is a vicious circle. There is often marked growing respiratory disorders, pulmonary and heart failure, edema.
With obesity there comes a metabolic disorder, and may occur hormonal disorders. Sometimes on the basis of obesity in childhood there may develop diabetes. Due to continuous overeating, fullness there are disrupted the activities of the gastrointestinal tract. Often these children have problems with bowel movements, constipation. Can be disrupted the function of the biliary system. Studies show that obesity in childhood is a significant factor in the development of fat gipatoza (fatty liver) and cirrhosis in later years. Nervous system is also suffering. There is increased irritability, sleep disturbances may occur, insomnia, night terrors, nightmares (it is associated with increased blood pressure).
Overweight children are often reluctant to participate in outdoor games - due to poor health, and because they feel awkward, fear of ridicule. For a teenager, it is important, even the way he looks in a tracksuit. The emergence of overweight has psychological causes. Psychologists have noticed the following pattern. Children who have had an awkward relationship with parents who are experiencing acute failure in school, feelings of loneliness and longing to eat more or less than they need, without noticing.
Cole, Tim J., et al. "Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: international survey." Bmj 320.7244 (2000): 1240.
Dewey, Kathryn G. "Is breastfeeding protective against child obesity?." Journal of Human Lactation 19.1 (2003): 9-18.
Locard, Elisabeth, et al. "Risk factors of obesity in a five year old population. Parental versus environmental factors." International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders: journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity 16.10 (1992): 721-729.
McGarvey, Elizabeth, et al. "Feasibility and benefits of a parent-focused preschool child obesity intervention." American Journal of Public Health 94.9 (2004): 1490.
O'Dea, Jennifer A. "Prevention of child obesity:‘First, do no harm’." Health education research 20.2 (2005): 259-265.