Childhood obesity - A risk factor for Adult Obesity?

Child Obesity Concern
By : Purple Kaddu Posted on :

Junk food culture, busy parents and a sedentary lifestyle has created a dangerous cocktail leading to childhood obesity.

You must have noticed that children who are obese in the early age remain obese till the end. They tend to find it very difficult to lose weight and gain back weight very easily even after losing a ton of weight.

What factors do you think is the reason for this? Let’s explore the causes and understand what makes it so difficult for some people to lose weight and be fit.

Weight gain can be because of two reasons: increase in the Size or Number of the fat cells in the body.

Obesity occurs (i) When Fat Cells (adipose cells) increase excessively in Size to accommodate more amount of fat (hypertrophy) - Basically Adult onset



(ii) When the existing cells reach a limit of their capacity (hyperplasia), there will be an increase in the number of fat cells.

Fat cells follow a normal pattern of growth and development. Hyperplasia occurs primarily as a part of the growth process during Infancy & Puberty. At puberty, there is an increase in the number of fat cells & thus the chances get doubled to develop more number of fat cells if unhealthy lifestyle is followed. This is how children become obese at childhood. 

If Children are obese at an early age it is called Hyperplastic Obesity. In this condition, there are a greater-than-normal number of fat cells that are also larger in size than normal cells. Thus, it contains more capacity to store fat. More number of fat cells would result in more fat storage, and increased production of leptin by fat cells in the body. This triggers irresistible hunger, and complicates the efforts to lose weight.

If you are wondering, if there is a way to reduce the number of fat cells in the body? The answer is NO.

Once fat cells are formed at puberty or childhood, dieting or weight loss in later stages will not decrease the fat cell number, but the size of the cells becomes smaller as their lipid content decreases with weight loss. However, this is a temporary solution and continuous effort of maintaining weight is crucial. The chances of gaining back weight is very high in such cases.

The longer a person remains obese, the more difficult it is to correct the problem. Thus, it becomes very important to follow a healthy lifestyle since childhood. Parents should be careful about the child’s diet from the very beginning. The collective effort of healthy diet & fitness starting from childhood is integral in leading a healthier life in the later stages. 

A-B-C for parents to ensure their kids do not cross the obese line:- 

1. Age:- Being 15 decides your personality, its the time when most kids take their education call - to have the right career. This age also determines your body structure, hence its important to not be overweight around your puberty to adolescence journey- Shed your (weight) baggage while crossing the threshold from puberty to adolescence. 

2. Be Active:- Indulging in an outdoor game like Badminton, Throw Ball, Cricket with your young ones, will be a family weight loss package for both you and your kid. Lack of outdoor space is playing a major role to help kids being in front of the televisions. A simple in- house game like hopscotch, hide and seek, treasure hunt, Monkey in the middle are some indoor games that you can innovate with the space constraint.

3. Cautious Eating:- The old saying 'What we eat, is what we are' is so true. The current way of living, indulges in lot of junk food, and so the diseases caused due to this are known as Lifestyle diseases. Encourage healthy food, if you can't keep your kids out of Burgers and fries, ensure you introduce fruits and veggies into their plate too. Read our Nutri-Kid blog section to get simple tips on healthy food and nutrition for children.


Obesity, childhood obesity, adult obesity, obesity treatment, causes of obesity, symptoms of obesity