Obesity among children has appeared as one of the most serious public health concerns in the 21st century. Childhood obesity has increased quite remarkably over the past 3 decades. Also, the growing prevalence of childhood obesity has led to the appearance of obesity-related disease at an early age.
Obesity in children can extensively affect almost every organ system in the individual’s body and cause serious consequences like insulin resistance, hypertension, dysglycemia, dyslipidemia, fatty liver disease and psychosocial complications. It is considered as a major contributor to increasing healthcare expenditures.
Owing to all these reasons, it is important to prevent childhood obesity and identify overweight and obese children at an early stage. This can help them begin treatment and attain and maintain a healthy weight. There is a need for establishing a comprehensive management program that emphasizes appropriate nutrition, exercise and behavioural modification.
Obesity causes various conditions, one of them is the metabolic syndrome, which comprises a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors like hypertension, altered glucose metabolism, abdominal obesity, etc that occur in obese children.
Determining the set of causes of pediatric obesity requires a detailed history that includes age at onset and speed of weight gain, pubertal onset and progression rate, cognitive development and parents’ and siblings’ weights, heights and pubertal onset. Detecting a family history of obesity or an endocrine disorder, specifically thyroid disease is quite helpful.