BMI is an important tool to identify childhood obesity.Are you worried that you child could be overweight? Nearly 1 in 3 kids or teens in the U.S. are overweight or obese, nearly three times the number in 1963. Carrying extra weight as a child or teenager can pose significant health risks, both during childhood and into adulthood.
Maintaining a healthy weight during childhood is especially important for heart health.Research shows that nearly 60 percent of overweight children age 5 to 17 had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease and 25 percent had two or more. And obese kids have an 80 percent chance of staying obese their entire lives.
But heart disease, often caused by high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, isn’t the only health risk. Childhood obesity may also lead to significant health problems, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Psychological stress, including low self-esteem, caused by social stigma of being obese.