Relationship Between Child Obesity And Depression

Relationship between Childhood Obesity and Depression

Child obesity is one of the most serious issues of the 21st century. All of us are identifiable with the tenure “child obesity “.But most of us really don’t know about the meaning of obesity. It is basically the synonym of the word “overweight”. Child obesity is the term used when the child is overweight with respect to their age and height.There is 80 % chance for the overweight child to stay obese in adulthood and they have more chances to develop serious cardiovascular diseases as well as diabetes in their younger age due to the increased level of cholesterol. It is not fully understood that what the basic mechanism of obesity is. Obesity affects the child both physically as well as psychologically. There are different causes and factors that may make a person obese.

The first main cause is the high-calorie intake. Calories are taken in the high amount but not burned off at the same rate. High activity level helps a child to burn the number of calories.But if the child is so sluggish to do even simple activities like playing outdoor games instead of sitting in front of the computer for hours he will start gaining weight gradually.Genetics is another Cause of obesity “A Studies have set up that BMI is 20-40% transmissible”. Excessive sugary foods and fats intake lead to child obesity .Lifestyle and many environmental, as well as cultural factors, play a vital role in the prevalence of obesity.Sometimes the emotional problem is main causes of making a child obese. When the child is emotionally disturbed he eats more in a very weird manner and gains more weight and become obese.

Other factors are Psychological factors, Anxiety (due to the parental environment), Depression(due to some family problems), Portion size, a lot of snacks and junk food with no physical activity, Self-esteem, Body Dissatisfaction.The phenomenon of child obesity can be seen in developed as well as undeveloped countries but its rate is increasing day by day in developing countries .worldwide in 2010 the numbers of children beneath the age of five is knowable to be over 42 million.Close to 35 million are existing in emergent countries. Childhood chubbiness rates are privileged in 

United States


 New Zealand


Although the lowest rates are in


And Korea.

In case of Pakistan, childhood obesity is increasing dramatically. Out of 188 countries, Pakistan is ranked at 9th number concerning to obesity. Obesity is increasing day by day in children that may lead to adverse effects on their life.

Level of obese children rose up to 124 Million in 2016.If we see the relationship between childhood obesity and depression there are many aspects which shows that they both have deep relation and affect each other. As we can say that childhood obesity affects the child mental health adversely. From different studies outcomes it is not clear whether obesity or depression comes first. Some Researchers call the relationship between obesity and depression is “bidirectional”. Being obese makes a person depressed and vice versa. The study of Deborah Gibson-Smith from VU University Medical Center in the Netherland and colleagues shows that obese children of age 8 or 13 were allied with more than thrice the risk of depression in their later lives. According to Research by an Australian, Monash University study that children suffering from obesity are at higher risk of depression and other mental problems than slim ones.

 Kids that are not obese in childhood but become obese in formative years faced three times the risk of depression in adulthood  in contrast to this if the kids are obese in childhood as well as in adulthood both, the risk of depression becomes four times greater. The obese child always experiences low self-esteem than the normal weight child and this condition may lead to the depression and severe mental illness. According to National Survey of Children’s Health in 2016 31.2%of children whose ages were between 10-17 were obese.

In the US children are more depressed than adults as everyone out of four children is obese there. In the US more than 12 Million children are obese and the rate of obesity is tripled since the 1970s. And main reason for obesity in the US that they prefer more junk food rather than healthy food. Two third of American youth consuming sugary beverages on daily basis. After consumption of such type of food they start to suffer from obesity and become depressed. These children with depression experience low self-esteem and in the result of this they had higher rates of uneasiness, loneliness and wretchedness. Generally obese child is not pleased with their weight. Obesity in childhood is the major trend of the era and it’s all due to the sedentary lifestyle in increasing day by day in developing countries. 2.8 Million People expire due to different diseases caused by obesity and one of them is depression the rate obesity in different countries are

Mexico 41.8%, Brazil22.1%, India 22.0%, Argentina 19.3%. Some countries in the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and some countries of Middle East including Kuwait and Qatar, have 20% obesity level found in the ages of 5 to 19.

In Norway 15-20% children are obese. Just like the other countries China is also facing the same problem child obesity is increased from 15 – 27% in 1982 to today in the children under the age of 15. In the UK one out of three children is obese. The UK is country that the highest rate of childhood obesity. Obese children face depression and depression affect the brain it may lead to the shrinkage of the hippocampus and it may cause memory problems. Obese child may face different bullying behaviors in their school as well as in their social circle than the normal weight children. They may face relational and overt victimization. They also fat shamed.  It makes them depressed and mentally ill. They will not take interest in different activities. He would not able to think or concentrate because depression affects child thinking skills. Because of all of these reasons children avoid social circles and it may lead to mood swings and depression. The all-inclusive prevalence of obesity is just about doubled between 1980 and 2008. Over 60 % of children are estimated to be overweight and depressed. A research in 2008 shows that there is a strong relationship between obesity and psychiatric disorders.

A Research shows that lower intake of calcium and dietary products leads to obesity so it is highly recommended to give enough amount of dietary products to fulfill the body requirement of calcium which prevent obesity. Children should be given proper amount of fruits and vegetables. They should given healthy fats rather than unhealthy fats. Artificial flavors  and sugary beverages should not be given. White bread should be replaced with barn bread. Artificial sugary  juices should be replaced with fresh fruit juices or water. Lemon water or honey water should be given at early morning empty stomach it melts extra fats from the body.

Here are some certain responsibilities parents must b noticed about, child eating behavior must be noticed by the parents as skipping breakfast and late night meals are the main cause of obesity. Eating out and fast foods must be excluded from the child’s diet . They can also encourage their children to develop healthy life style by excluding unhealthy food from their diet. Parents should keep eye on child’s portion size. A proper measurement of physical activity is must. 60 minutes of daily physical activity is highly recommended for every child to stay healthy. Proper amount of water should be given to eradicate extra toxins from the body. They can also persuade them to stop eating when they feel full and not to over eat , don’t give them food as a reward. Parents can also trim down the chance of obesity in children by limiting their sedentary activities like TV and video games to less than two hours a day. Good parents must be a councilor and always give succinct counseling to their child about their problems.

Some other responsibilities of schools are that school should execute nutritional standards for all the food that is being served in schools cafeteria. Schools should also offer physical training or physical education 30 minutes a day. On the other hand Health insurance companies also should keep eye on this serious problem and must delegate childhood obesity anticipation  services in clinical practice.

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