There is not much debate about the statistical numbers of overweight and obese children today. The unfortunate reality is that one in three children is overweight or obese in the United States. Due to the alarming figure, weight loss camps (also known as fat camps) have increased in demand.
A rise in the popularity of weight loss camps can be largely attributed to the scientific data showing that obese children suffer from very adult-like diseases. More and more young obese adults are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes now that a connection has been found between the two. In the past, adults were generally diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, but many pediatricians are now diagnosing teenagers with the condition as well, and although the disease can be managed, the effects from it are severe. Over time, Type 2 Diabetes causes damage to the kidneys and blood vessels, and can lead to blindness and amputations.
In the overweight child, additional stress is placed on the body’s joints, which increases the chances of joint and muscles problems. For younger obese children, cartilage is commonly damaged from the excess weight. Coupled with breathing problems related to their high weight and difficulty in finding a comfortable sleeping position, many obese children also suffer from poor sleeping habits.
Overweight children have other health risks associated with extra body weight. Obese children can suffer from cholesterol and heart disease problems, much like an adult. They are twice as likely to have high cholesterol over kids of average weight. The fear in the medical community is that obese kids will suffer heart attacks – another significant reason for the push for weight loss camps. Many obese children live inactive lifestyles, boosting their chances of developing asthma or other breathing disorders. It is also thought that constant exposure to dust mites and household chemicals contribute to this condition as well.