In simplest terms the cause of obesity is an imbalance in the caloric intake and expenditure. The true measure of obesity in a child is done by taking the child’s Body Mass Index. The Body Mass Index is a measure of the weight to height ratio. The scale reads an index of 18.5-24.5 as average while overweight ranges from 25-29.5. Anything above 29 is characterized as obese according to the average percentile of children in that age group. However in medicine the terms obesity and overweight are interchangeable in the case of children.
A standardized method has been recently created to catalog and classify children who are overweight and obese based on the body mass index. This allowed the prevalence rates of obesity in children to be studied around the world. They found that obesity was associated with poverty in developing countries and that in adults it is associated with early morbidity (PT, 2004).
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