Obesity affects a child’s physical and mental health and can cause other major health problems, such as:
Obesity in children is measured by body mass index and age. A child who is obese has a BMI-for-age percentile greater than 95 percent. Children who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults. Obesity can be caused by:
Treatment for obesity often focuses on managing weight with food choices and activity levels. Treatment programs may include working with a dietitian, psychologist and exercise specialist. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using the 5, 2, 1, 0 approach:
In some cases with adolescents, bariatric surgery may be an option.