Obese Kids Become Obese Adults
Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start kids on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol stokes and cancer. Even more striking is that once a child becomes obese, even if they were to latter lose the extra weight and become normal weight adults, the increased risk of prior obesity persists. Those extra fat cells and their metabolic effects just never seem to go away.

Obesity most commonly begins in childhood between the ages of 5 and 6, and during adolescence. New long term follow up studies show that there is a 8% chance of obesity as an adult if the individual was obese even as young as 2 years of age. If a child becomes obese between the ages of 10 and 13 he has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult.

Furthermore, there is evidence of an association between adolescent obesity and increased risks for health in adult life independent of adult weight. The relative risks among men aged 68 to 73 had nearly double the mortality from coronary heart disease if they were obese as a child. (Must and Strauss, 1999) Must A, Strauss RS. Risks and consequences of childhood and adolescent obesity. The International Journal of Obesity 1999;23:S2-S11.From 1988 to 1994, children aged two to seven consumed between 110 and 165 calories more than they needed each day resulting in a weight gain (not related to growth) of almost one pound a year. That is about a single can of soda. Similarly, from 1999 to 2002, obese children 12 to 17 years old took in an average of 678 to 1,017 extra calories per day (twice the calories of a big Mac) amounting to an entire excess weight gain of 58 lb.

Overweight and Obesity in Children Are Different than in Adults:
Obesity in childhood and adolescence are much more complicated than in adulthood. Unlike adults where the weight gain equation is easy: too much food in and too activity out, children’s weight is controlled by many more factors. Factors include genetics, very powerful environment influences, inactivity, and most important the ever changing need for extra nutrients responsible for growth and development.

Overweight means excess body fat, lean body mass, bones and water, while obesity means excess body fat. Although percentage of body fat has been used in the past, the more common measure is the Body Mass Index.(BMI). As in adults, BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared (kg/m2), or, multiply weight in pounds by 703, divide by height in inches, then divide again by height in inches. Much simpler is to use a BMI table or BMI calculator easily available on the Internet. It is important to assess the trend of the child’s BMI as this is an indirect measure of body fat.

Unlike adults, in children and adolescents the BMI number is then plotted on the Center of Disease Control BMI-for-age growth charts (for either girls or boys) to obtain a percentile ranking. Percentiles are the most commonly used indicator to assess the size and growth patterns of individual children in the United States. The percentile indicates the relative position of the child's BMI number among children of the same sex and age.
For example, you if a child are in the 80th percentile. This means that compared with other children of the same sex and age, 80 percent have a lower BMI. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 20 years, going from 6.5% in 1980 to 17.0% in 2006. The rate among adolescents aged 12 to 19 more than tripled, increasing from 5% to 17.6%.

Obesity in minority groups is much more striking. Among American children ages 2–19, the following are overweight or obese, using the 95th percentile or higher of body mass index (BMI) values on the CDC 2000 growth chart:
• For non-Hispanic whites, 31.9 percent of males and 29.5 percent of females.
• For non-Hispanic blacks, 30.8 percent of males and 39.2 percent of females.
• For Mexican Americans, 40.8 percent of males and 35.0 percent of females.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Lipman M.D, board certified endocrinologist, internist and weight loss expert has treated tens of thousands of individuals with weight and metabolic disorders in his Miami office. He is the author of more than 20 scientific articles on weight loss and metabolism and has authored four books on obesity including 100 Calorie Secret, Restaurants and Recipes in the HCG Diet, La Dieta HCG and his most recent update of Dr Simeons’s 1954 book, New Pounds and Inches. His interest includes not only obese adults, but families with both parents and children that are overweight. He strives totreat the family as a whole. www.bestbuyhcg.com