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Causes of childhood obesity in Kenya


Date Posted: 3/11/2013 1:33:06 AM

Posted By: SimonMburu  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 838

Obesity is a weight disorder whereby the health of an individual is so extreme to the point of being considered unhealthy. A few decades ago childhood obesity cases were rare especially in developing countries like Kenya, but recently these cases have risen. Developed countries like the United States of America were used to this problem of obesity in children but it seems the disorder is creeping in third world states. In Kenya the problem started to raise eyebrows in the last one decade just after health experts noticed that majority of children below the age of 10 years were experiencing overweight problems.

Since then, the public has been educated on the adverse health effects of obesity such as;
-Heart diseases. Obesity is one of the major culprits of heart ailments like stroke and heart failure. Experts warn that excessive fats may block blood vessels leading to these deadly heart ailments.
-Diabetes. Majority of people living with diabetes are obese while medical practitioners point fingers at obesity as one of the causes of diabetes.
Apart from these adverse health effects, social problems may also arise due to the condition. Examples include;
-Low self-esteem and stress. Obese children are more likely to be teased with their counterparts at school or any other social place therefore leading to low self-esteem and stress. This problem affect their ego and general intellectual development.
-Body image problems. As we all know image is everything. Obese children are more likely to face awkward image problems regarding the treatment they get from family members, classmates or even tutors.

Now that we have seen the demerits of obesity, let's take a close look on the causes of these condition.

1. Genetic Factors. Some rare gene disorders may likely originate from obese parents and then passed on to their off springs. Studies have also shown that majority

of obese children come from family lines where majority of the members are obese.
2. Lack of physical activities. This is the biggest contributor to this condition. The body with its natural mechanism has the ability of storing energy in kilo joules as body fat. The body uses this energy in physical activities but if you eat more than the energy being used the extra is stored as fat.
3. Unhealthy Eating Patterns. Every parent should keep an eye on the eating patterns of their kids since kids will feed whenever they feel like. These patterns are more likely to cause obesity since extra energy intake is stored as fat.
4. Sedentary Pursuits. When video games and movies were not so common in Africa, kids used to get involved in outdoor games like playing hide-and-seek and so forth. But due to the introduction of various sedentary activities majority of them spend countless hours sitting at home. These pursuits have also contributed to the increase of obesity among Kenyan children.

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