Writer Pete Alman wrote for Healthy Lombard that since the 1970s, the number of children who struggle with childhood obesity has more than tripled. To put this another way, about one in five children between the age of 6 and 19 were obese according to 2015-2016 data. Unfortunately, these statistics have stayed just as alarming as time has gone on.
With these statistics in mind, it is absolutely crucial that we take steps to prevent childhood obesity. Luckily, that is possible. Childhood obesity isn’t something we just have to accept and move on. In fact, there are a handful of powerful ways that childhood obesity can be prevented.
What Is Childhood Obesity?
Before jumping into how to prevent childhood obesity, it’s important to define obesity. To put it as simple as possible, obesity is when someone has excess body fat. However, being slightly overweight does not automatically equate to obesity. In addition, there isn’t a single weight that stands as the line for obesity.
Instead, obesity is typically screened based on a child’s body mass index or BMI. A child’s BMI is measured with their weight and height. To be specific a child’s body weight in kilograms divided by a person’s height in meters squared. When professionals measure BMI, they take into consideration other factors as well, such as their age and sex.
Once again, though, instead of saying a person’s BMI equals this number so that means they’re obese, BMI is measured in percentile. The higher a person ranks in their percentile, the closer to obesity they are.
If a child or young adult ranks at or above the 85th percentile or higher in their BMI bracket, they are considered overweight. When they place at or above the 95th percentile, this is when they are considered obese.
Many children have their BMI measured at school to help parents keep track of their child’s health.
AuthorL Woodworking Pete Alman.is a former carpenter turned writer, and proud resident of Nashville, Tennessee. When not working on a project in my shed, I’m lifting weights or hanging out with my three dogs (Dobermans).