(Surprising) Causes of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity depression


Oftentimes, parents are unaware that their overweight child is depressed. However, it is unclear as to which comes first. Depression can cause a child to overeat. But then again, an obese child can develop this psychological disorder.
In other words, depression can be both the cause and effect of childhood obesity. This disorder is often an outcome of low self-esteem which often leads to other psychological concerns other than overeating.
Here are some symptoms to watch out for in a depressed child: little or no motivation to engage in social activities, prolonged periods of sadness and loneliness, defiant behavior and an obsession with eating.

In some instances, socioeconomic factors are causes of obesity in children

It has been found that some low-income minority groups have higher rates of childhood obesity. Most of these families are not well-informed in regards to healthy nutrition and the need for physical activity. Furthermore, these groups are also short of places like secure and safe parks, where children can play and indulge in physical activities safely.


Genetics could be one of the causes of childhood obesity
Obesity genetics determines not only body type but also how your body burns and stores fat.
Although studies show that children born of obese parents are very likely going to be obese, this doesn’t mean that the child is doomed to become an obese adult. Not at all.
Although we cannot change our genes, parents can educate their overweight child about obesity genetics and make him or her aware not only of the danger of getting obese, but that it is also possible to pass it on.
Be careful and make sure that weight does not get obsessed over within the family as this can cause even more stress. Needless to say, genes alone are not predictors of future health.


Can a dysfunctional family environment and abuse produce overweight kids?
There have been few studies that have examined the relationship between obesity and adverse childhood experiences like child sexual, physical and verbal abuse. And they show that in some of the cases, some kind of relationship exists.
And that’s not all. Researchers have also found that children, who witness trauma like a mother suffering abuse at the hands of somebody close, were more likely to be obese at an early age. Other examples of trauma include having an alcoholic or a drug addict member of the family, or having somebody in the household who is incarcerated.


Some illnesses may also be causes of childhood obesity
Below are two hormonal diseases that may be causes of childhood obesity.
A hormonal disease caused by surplus amounts of cortisol in the body is called Cushing’s Disease. This disease is quite rare in children. Some symptoms include sudden or abnormal weight gain, upper body obesity and stunted growth.
Prader-Willi Syndrome another rare disease caused by high amounts of the hormone ghrelin. This hormone is thought to contribute to an insatiable desire for food resulting in morbid obesity. Some symptoms are speech delay, hyperphagia (over eating) and scoliosis, a curving of the spine.
A child with this syndrome usually has a prominent nose and an elongated face. The philtrum (the area between the nose and the upper lip) is usually smooth, lacking the depression that normally occurs there.