The Connection Between Childhood And Adult Obesity

By Alley Benton
Updated December 9, 2016
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The Connection Between Childhood And Adult ObesityAlthough many people consider "obese" as a word that simply means fat or overweight, the truth is that it's far more specific than that. The term obesity is used to represent a situation wherein a person weighs a minimum of 20% more than what is considered to be a healthy weight for the specific height and gender of that person. When it comes to childhood obesity, and adult obesity, it's easy to see why the two conditions could be connected.

After all, the habits and negative health problems that you develop as a young child can continue to plague you throughout the rest of your life, leading to an increased risk of various conditions including:

- Issues with breathing, such as asthma and sleep apnea

- Gout

- Osteoarthritis

- Gallstones and gallbladder disease

- Diabetes

- Blood pressure problems

- Stroke and heart disease

- Various cancers

The Connection Between Childhood Obesity and Adult Obesity:

Not everyone who is obese will have the same results or side effects from their condition. The risks to your health change and adapt according to various specific circumstances, including your family history. Where your weight is held can also be an important factor. If you mostly build up weight around the midsection or stomach, then this can be a lot riskier than if you were to have a pear-shaped body. This means that the extra weight you're holding onto could be largely around your buttocks or hips.

Another important factor is whether you were obese as a child, before you struggled with your weight as an adult. Childhood obesity and adult obesity are undoubtedly connected, with various studies suggesting that a heavier weight as a youth usually leads to bigger problems with weight as an adult. Childhood obesity is associated with a much higher risk of disability and premature death in adulthood. What's more, overweight or obese children are far more likely to continue to be obese well into adulthood at which time they usually develop noncommunicable diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Long Term Health Consequences:

The link between childhood obesity and adult obesity means that many obese children and adolescents will experience both long-term and short-term consequences to their health. Usually, the most important health consequences associated with childhood obesity will not become apparent until adulthood, and they can include:

- The onset of cardiovascular disease

- Diabetes - particularly type 2 diabetes

- Musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis

- Various types of cancer, such as breast, colon, and endometrial cancer

Perhaps the most common issues for children and adults with obesity is the increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Additional weight means that you're more likely to have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which make stroke and heart disease more likely. What's more, most people with type 2 diabetes are obese or overweight.

Fortunately, it's possible to reduce your risk of various conditions simply by eating a balanced diet, getting more exercise, and taking active steps to reduce your weight. Making a change to your weight is essential, as around 2.6 million people die every year as a result of being obese or overweight.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.