Everyone knows that obesity brings with it many health problems. The earlier that someone becomes obese, the worse those health problems may become. That’s why it’s vital that parents help their children stay fit. Here are a few dangers that your child may face if they’re obese.
1. Low Self-Esteem
One of the issues that children may face with obesity is developing low self-esteem. Although everyone would like to think that bullies are taken care of at schools, that isn’t the case. Obese children are more likely to be picked on about their weight. They’re an easy target for bullies.
This kind of torment can mess with a child’s self-esteem. Since the development of that self-esteem is so important in their early life, this could have consequences for them later in life. With low self-esteem, children may not attempt challenges. They may not have a healthy estimate of themselves and their abilities, and so allow opportunities to pass them by.
They may not be able to stand up for themselves. Not just in school, but also later in life with coworkers, relationships, and employers. This could further impact them by developing anxiety or depression over their circumstances.
2. Body Dissatisfaction
Another danger of childhood obesity is body dissatisfaction. While it’s normal for everyone to be displeased about something in regards to their appearance, obese children will feel it severely. They’ll look at themselves and either dislike or hate what they see. This could also be spurred on by bullying.
That dislike or hatred could cause them to act out in unhealthy ways. Cutting, for example, could be a release that they indulge in, to attempt to mar their appearance. No longer will people tease them about their weight, but their cuts instead.
Being dissatisfied with their appearance may also develop anxiety or depression in them. They may be unable to leave their heads about their physical appearance and focus on the other things about themselves that make them an incredible person.
It may also create a dependency on compliments about their physical appearance. When someone finds them beautiful or handsome, they may stick with that person. Even if that person is abusive or manipulative, the dependency that the child has developed on that person to make them feel good about themselves can make them blind to the abuse that they’re otherwise receiving.
3. Develop Eating Disorders
In an attempt to fix their weight, children may knowingly or unknowingly develop an eating disorder. Eating disorders are health-risks. There are two main types of eating disorders: Binge-eating and anorexia.
In regards to binge-eating, someone will eat whatever food they want, and then immediately throw it up. Although not all binge-eating disorders require purging, some simply eat a large quantity of food in a short time. The belief behind this disorder is that the body receives the bare nutrients it needs while ejecting the rest that isn’t used. This is false. Binge-eating can have severe health consequences for the body.
One of those health consequences is gastrointestinal health. The periods in which a child consumes a lot of food in a short time messes with their digestion abilities. This can cause stomach bloating, as well as stomach problems, if the disorder continues.
Anorexia, on the other hand, is the conscious effort not to consume food for long periods of time. This can have serious health problems, as well, like affecting your cardiovascular system. By not consuming that many calories, the heart is unable to receive energy from the blood. Your entire body might slowly start to shut down.
Children who are obese may choose to develop one of these disorders in order to deal with their weight problems. Or they may do it unconsciously, when they’re feeling upset about their weight.
4. Emotional Problems
Children suffering from obesity may also develop emotional problems. Some of them may be depression, anxiety, anger, and other problems. Whether they’re teased or not, children are constantly comparing themselves to those around them. If they do not like that they’re quite different than the others, then they can start to believe that something is wrong with them.
This sense of ‘otherness’ could develop into depression or social anxiety in them. They may be unwilling to spend time with their friends or other children because they’re aware of their differences. Or they may be anxious about interacting with others their age who are fit and healthy.
This social isolation can only further damage their emotional health.
There are far more dangers of childhood obesity than just physical health concerns. Their emotional welfare could suffer which could lead to an entirely different kind of suffering and danger. Ensuring your child remains at a healthy weight can help them become successful and happy individuals as they grow into adulthood.