Small child

The child will grow out of overweight and obesity (?). There's nothing to worry about?


Excessive body weight in children is not a problem in recent years. Already in 1974, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified obesity as one of the most important civilization diseases and suggested that it would become one of the main medical problems of the 21st century. Upward trends are confirmed by epidemiological data (including the International HBSC study), which say that it is currently every 5 child in our country is struggling with excessive body weight. However, are overweight and obesity such a big problem in the pediatric population? Can you grow out of them? We will look for answers to these questions later in our article.

What is overweight and obesity in children?

Overweight and obesity are conditions that they are characterized by excessive, exceeding demand and dangerous to the accumulation of fat in the body. In the pediatric population, they are defined using the BMI (body mass index = body weight in kilograms / height in meters raised to the second power) referred to centile grids taking into account the age and sex of the child. According to current WHO guidelines, this allows the diagnosis of overweight and obesity in the following situations:

  • Overweight - it is a nutrition disorder for which the BMI is in the range of 85 to 95 percentile for age and sex. For example, for a boy at the age of seven it will be a BMI in the range 18 - 22.5, and for a girl of the same age BMI in the range 18.5 - 22.7.
  • Obesity - it is a nutritional disorder for which the BMI exceeds 95 percentile. For example, for a boy at the age of seven it will be a BMI above 22.5, and for a girl of the same age BMI above 22.7.

The reasons for the increase in the number of children struggling with overweight and obesity

The World Health Organization estimates that in our country there will be nearly 400,000 overweight children and 80,000 overweight every year. What are the reasons for this?

Woman pinching her fat tummy belly

  • Increased popularity of fast food - fast food restaurants, which were once the domain of larger cities, can now be found even in smaller towns. What's more, most supermarkets outperform in the amount of highly processed, ready-to-eat products on their shelves. This, in conjunction with the constantly improving material situation of Poles, results adverse changes in the menu for children and adults.
  • Increase in consumption of unhealthy snacks and sweetened drinks - IŻŻ data report that even 99% in preschool age eat, more or less often, salty or sweet snacks and drink sweetened drinks.
  • Low physical activity - IŻŻ estimates that only 30% of children and 10% of adults engage in physical activity that meets the body's physiological needs.

Is it growing out of overweight and obesity?

Over half of adult Poles struggle with excessive body weight. In most of them the problem of overweight and obesity had its origin in childhood. Excessive kilograms in a toddler increase his chances of developing eating disorders several times in later life. What it comes from?

Overweight and obesity are to some extent genetically determined. Nevertheless, their occurrence is mainly determined environmental factors, which each of us has an impact on. The most important among them are eating habits and low level of physical activity incorrectly formed and preserved during childhood. Hence, the lack of health education from an early age is considered the main factor responsible for such a dynamic increase in the number of people struggling with excess kilos.

Therefore, they return to the question raised at the beginning about the possibility of the child growing out of overweight and obesity - this is of course possible, but only if the toddler is taught the correct eating habits, modified his lifestyle and shaping healthy attitudes.

Bibliography:"Obesity for children and adolescents. Contemporary problems in prevention and therapy "- Epidemiology and complications of obesity Alicja Karney MDEpidemiology of overweight and obesity - a growing health problem in the population of children and adolescents - Anna Obuchowicz, Department and Clinical Department of Pediatrics of the Silesian Medical Academy in Bytom