What is Childhood Obesity – Understanding the Causes, Health Risks, and Strategies for Prevention

Aug 21. 2023

Childhood obesity has become a global health concern, affecting millions of children worldwide. Being referred to a pediatric endocrinologist to manage childhood obesity can be an apprehensive experience for the entire family. Understanding the complex nature of obesity and its underlying causes can help improve the treatment process and reduce weight-related stigmas, avoid a punitive approach, and reward positive behaviors. In this edition of the newsletter, we explore the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to managing childhood obesity and the key factors GluCare’s team considers in their treatment process.

GluCare.Health, the leading healthcare provider specializing in pediatric endocrinology and obesity management, offers a range of services designed to tackle childhood obesity holistically and promote healthier outcomes for children and their families.

Changing the Narrative: Obesity and Willpower

A better understanding of the pathophysiology of obesity is transforming the way we view the role of willpower in children and parents dealing with this condition. It’s essential to recognize that obesity is a multifaceted issue, influenced by numerous factors such as genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices. Acknowledging this complexity can help reduce the weight-related bias and stigmas many children and families face and addressing this would thus. require a comprehensive approach that includes education, support, and changes in the family and societal environments to promote healthier habits and lifestyles.

The Initial Consultation: Assessing the Root Causes

During the initial consultation with a pediatric endocrinologist, a comprehensive review of symptoms and family history is conducted, along with a physical examination. These assessments aim to identify obesity comorbidities and other diseases that can contribute to obesity, such as genetic disorders or hypothyroidism.

GluCare’s Multidisciplinary Approach: Examining Key Factors

At GluCare, a team of endocrinologists, patient educators, coaches, and dietitians work together to gather information about the child’s diet and behaviors. Comprehensive medical evaluations, including growth assessments, laboratory testing, and hormonal evaluations, are conducted to understand the underlying causes of obesity and formulate appropriate treatment plans. Some of the other key factors they will examine include:

  • Nutritional habits – This includes evaluating the consumption of sweet beverages, fruit, and vegetable intake, parent feeding styles, portion sizes, and emotional eating patterns. Our registered dietitians and Nutritionists will offer individualized nutrition counseling, taking into account the child’s age, growth, and nutritional requirements. They will educate families on balanced diets, portion control, meal planning, and healthy cooking techniques. 
  • Physical activity behaviors – The team assesses the child’s involvement in physical education, organized sports, and other forms of physical activity and then provides tailored exercise guidance, considering each child’s capabilities, interests, and age-appropriate activities. They develop personalized exercise plans, encourage regular physical activity, and promote active lifestyles. By making physical activity enjoyable and accessible, we will aim to instill a lifelong habit of staying active
  • Screen time – Understanding how much time the child spends in front of screens, such as televisions, computers, and smartphones, can help identify areas for improvement.
  • Family factors – The family’s composition, support system, number of caregivers, and parenting styles can all influence a child’s weight management journey. We at Glucare will offer comprehensive parental education programs that provide guidance on nutrition, physical activity, behavior modification, and long-term weight management strategies. By empowering parents with knowledge and skills, we will ensure a supportive home environment that fosters healthy habits and sustainable lifestyle changes.
  • Mental and physical health – The team also considers any mental or physical health issues that may be affecting the child, such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, a history of being bullied, or developmental and physical disabilities.
  • Support System – Glucare recognizes the importance of building a supportive community for children and families dealing with obesity. We facilitate support groups, where children and parents can connect with others facing similar challenges, share experiences, and provide mutual encouragement. These support groups serve as valuable platforms for emotional support, motivation, and the exchange of practical tips for success. 
  • Long-Term Monitoring and Follow-Up – Managing childhood obesity requires ongoing monitoring and follow-up care. At Glucare, we maintain regular communication with families, conducting follow-up appointments to assess progress, provide support, and make necessary adjustments to treatment plans. By offering continuous guidance and monitoring, we will ensure sustained progress and better long-term outcomes

Managing childhood obesity requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the various factors contributing to the condition. GluCare’s multidisciplinary team offers a supportive, unbiased environment to help families better understand and address the complexities of childhood obesity. By offering personalized care, education, and support, Glucare empowers children and their families to achieve healthier lifestyles, preventing and managing childhood obesity effectively for better long-term results thus promoting a healthier, happier future for young patients.

Take the first step towards a healthier future for your child by booking an appointment with our pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Kowshik Gupta today. Call us at 04-2201570 or contact us via WhatsApp to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to subscribe to our GluCare Chronicles Newsletter to stay updated on the latest health news and tips for managing childhood obesity and other health concerns.

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