Obesity in babies

Unfortunately it comes obesity in babies and more and more children. In most cases it has to do with an excessive intake of energy (food), too little exercise and wrong food (a lot of fat and sugar). In some cases, obesity is caused by hereditary factors and you can not really do anything about it.

The most annoying thing about obesity is that it does not only involve physical problems, but also psychological problems. Think of other people's comments about weight or a low self-esteem. Before you assess children and their parents on the weight of the child: read this blog first.

How is obesity determined?

To determine that your baby is obese, the weight, height and waist circumference are measured. The BMI is calculated on the basis of this data. If it is high above average, then there can be obesity.
But very honest: in fact, it is not even necessary to do these measurements. Usually the outside is already clearly visible. Obesity means that your baby is heavily overweight, which can have consequences for the health of your child.

Causes of obesity in babies

In most cases (95%) there is no clear cause for obesity or overweight in babies and children. At least, not because of a physical abnormality or a disease. This means that obesity is mainly caused by wrong diet, too much nutrition, too little physical activity and certain hereditary factors.
In addition, there are indications that breastfeeding can help to prevent obesity and bottle feeding may have the opposite effect.

In the other 5% of children and babies with overweight there is a clear cause. These children (and automatically the parents) can not help it. Overweight is also caused by a disease or syndrome. This is true for:

  • Congenital obesity.
  • Babies and children with disturbed hormone levels such as too little thyroid hormone, a growth hormone, too short or too much adrenal hormone.
  • Growth disorders
  • Use of certain medication.
  • Genetic abnormalities.

Chahat Kumar is 8 months old and already weighs 17 kilos. © Youtube

What is congenital obesity?

Congenital obesity means that babies are born with a leptin receptor deficiency. Leptin is a hormone that indicates that you are satisfied. In humans, or in this case babies, with leptin receptor deficiency, no signal is sent to the brain that the stomach is full. This means that they remain hungry.

In addition, the patients burn only 30 to 50% of all the calories they receive even though they exercise a lot. The calories that are not burned are converted into fat. The most annoying thing about congenital obesity is that there is no medication for it and losing weight is very difficult to almost impossible. Especially for a young child. You can hardly put a young child on a very strict diet forever. Besides, even for adults that would not be fun at all.

Put simply, there is nothing to be done about it. What makes it even worse are the reactions of outsiders who say that the child should eat less and move more. In the case of congenital obesity, the problem is not there and parents can not really do anything about it.

Obesity in babies is becoming more common. If you suspect that your baby is also bothered by this, always contact your doctor if in doubt!

Genetic obesity baby

If your baby has genetic obesity, it is partly caused by genetic predisposition. Namely by non-syndromic obesity or syndromic obesity. Non-syndromic obesity means that obesity or overweight is caused by a genetic abnormality. This is very rare, but it does occur. In most cases, other members in the family are also overweight.

Overweight develops at a very young age just about when your child is 2 or 3 years old. Non-syndromic obesity is also called monogenetic obesity. There are 10 types of genes known that can cause this form of obesity. For example, by a gene that ensures that you have a leptin deficiency. No leptin is then produced, which means that you do not feel full of food and therefore continue to eat.

Syndromal obesity

There are a few genetic syndromes that can cause obesity. These syndromes are caused by a deviation in the chromosomes. In addition to obesity, children who suffer from this often have an intellectual disability or dysmorphic characteristics such as a growth disorder.

Obesity develops around the 5th year of life. Some children have an unrestrained appetite, but that does not always have to be the case. Other characteristics are a small size, developmental delay or school problems. Syndromes that can cause obesity in babies:

  • Prader-willis syndrome
  • Bardet bid syndrome
  • Alström syndrome
  • WAGR syndrome
  • Carpenter syndrome
  • Cohen syndrome
  • Börjeson forrssman lehmann syndrome

Treating obesity in babies

If you suspect your obesity with your baby, you can go to the doctor. The GP will first ask you detailed questions about the diet and the degree of movement of your baby and of the entire family. So make sure you are prepared so that you can answer. Also consider whether overweight is more common in the family and that this may be caused.

Try to be as honest as possible and do not shift everything too quickly to a hereditary condition. It is 'better' that your child has obesity because the diet has to be improved, than that there is a genetic disorder.The latter is in fact much more difficult to deal with.

The way in which obesity is treated in babies is entirely dependent on the cause. If it is due to incorrect diet and too little exercise, the diet pattern will have to be adjusted.

As a parent you will also have to encourage your child to move more often. It is never too early to start with this and never too late for yourself to start with it. If there is another cause, you and the doctor will set up a follow-up program to treat obesity in babies.

Leave Your Comment