Battling Child Obesity At The Age Of 5

She just thinks I starve her because she’s constantly hungry, and it makes me feel like a crap mom, because there’s only so much I can do.When battling child obesity, one of the youngest patients is five year old Liliana she’s twice the average weight (39 kg/85 pounds) for her age and the team needs to work out why?

How has it been since the last appointment? it’s been very stressful. Lots of tantrums,she’s gotten into a very bad habit now. Stealing food from the cupboard,by eating a sausage out the freezer.

Since her last visit, not only has her weight gone up, her behavior has deteriorated. Now, really I am fed up at being nice, get on the scales.

Constant Hunger Is The Problem

Her constant hunger is worrying the team. as I think at the moment we’re not getting anywhere. We need to very carefully investigate any other issues:

I wonder if he could do me a favor with one last avenue to explore,her tests are sent to a specialist lab to see if there’s a hidden reason for her obesity.

I’m scared that I’m gonna be recovered. Five year-old Liliana has been called to the lab where her tests have been analyzed.

Her weight has risen to (seven stone/98 pounds) and they’re trying to work out if there’s, an underlying reason, what to sit down so there we were measuring how the body burns calories and we can measure how much of the calories you burn come from fat versus carbohydrate, okay, so all the doctors in Bristol work very closely with us.

We did some mouth swab tests, and so one of the things that we’re looking at is whether there may be a reason you are a little bit heavy and one of the things that we look at is whether sometimes that might be because there’s, a certain gene that might not be working.

child obesity

A Malfunctioning Gene Is Stopping Weight Loss

When we tested your sample, then we found that your gene was not working. It’s, just one gene and the other genes are fine. So one of the things that the gene does is, it works in the brain and it affects your appetite.

She’s, always hungry yeah, and that could be quite a hard thing. Yeah isn’t. It yeah cuz, you’re, probably being told off like all the time, it’s not your fault! You’re hungry; okay, right, okay, okay, yeah! You’re friends with me.

Now your friends with me now,arn’t you?, all right, okay, all right good good! Now, if the gene isn’t working now, if you take a regular person and you don’t, let them eat for three days.

Just imagine how hungry you would be a therapist that’s, how this little one will feel all the time right.

child obesity

Future Medicine Will Correct The Gene

So there are a couple of medicines that have now been developed, so what we would want to do is to have you a little bit older before we would start those. So, in the meantime, keep an eye on what you’re eating.

Yeah. Try to eat the healthy things and the right things and make sure that the weight doesn’t go on because, with this gene, what we find is your body is not very good at burning calories.

Does it sound okay, yeah that’s good… That is a massive relief.

I now know that is an actual medical condition. I felt like that. I don’t have to worry anymore, about what people say and what they think about her.


1. What is Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity occurs when a child’s body mass index (BMI) is above the 95th percentile for their age and gender. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

A child with a BMI between the 85th and 94th percentiles is considered overweight, while a child with a BMI between the 5th and 84th percentiles is considered healthy. Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic worldwide, affecting millions of children and increasing their risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.

2. What Are the Risk Factors for Childhood Obesity?

The risk factors for childhood obesity are numerous, including genetics, environment, behavior, and culture. Genetic factors play a role in determining a child’s susceptibility to obesity, but environmental factors such as diet, physical activity, and sleep patterns have a more significant impact.

Children who consume a diet high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats are at higher risk for obesity. Lack of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and inadequate sleep can also contribute to obesity. In addition, socio-economic and cultural factors, such as poverty and food insecurity, can impact a child’s health and increase their risk for obesity.

3. What Are the Long-term Effects of Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity can have significant long-term effects on a child’s health, well-being, and future life opportunities. Obese children are more likely to develop chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, fatty liver disease, and certain cancers.

These health problems can lead to disability, premature death, and reduced quality of life. Additionally, obese children are at higher risk for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and social isolation.

4. How Can Childhood Obesity Be Prevented or Managed?

Childhood obesity is preventable, and parents and caregivers can take steps to reduce their child’s risk. Encouraging healthy eating habits, such as eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, limiting sugary drinks and snacks, and avoiding fast food and processed foods can help prevent obesity.

Ensuring that children get regular physical activity is also crucial, with the American Heart Association recommending at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Limiting screen time and encouraging regular bedtimes and adequate sleep can help reduce the risk of obesity as well.

If a child is already obese, parents, and caregivers can take steps to manage the condition. Working closely with a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician, nutritionist, or physical therapist, can help develop a personalized plan to address the child’s needs.

This may include a balanced and varied diet, increased physical activity, and behavior modification techniques. Family-based interventions that involve the whole family in making lifestyle changes are also effective in managing childhood obesity.

5. What Are the Myths About Childhood Obesity?

There are many myths about childhood obesity that can hinder efforts to prevent or manage the condition. Some of these myths include that the child will outgrow it, that it is just baby fat, or that it is the result of laziness or lack of willpower.

In reality, childhood obesity is a complex medical condition that requires a comprehensive approach to prevention and management that addresses multiple contributing factors.

6. What Is the Role of Healthcare Professionals in Preventing and Managing Childhood Obesity?

Healthcare professionals, including pediatricians, nurses, dieticians, and physical therapists, play a critical role in preventing and managing childhood obesity. They can provide education, support, screening, and interventions for children and families at risk of obesity.

Healthcare professionals can also work with policymakers and communities to promote policies and environments that support healthy eating and physical activity. By addressing childhood obesity, healthcare professionals can help improve the health and well-being of children and ensure a healthier future for generations to come.

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