The Connection Between Childhood Obesity and Chronic Diseases

By Jessica Bombase, Recent ASU Nutrition Student

1 in 5 “school-aged” children are obese, according to the CDC. This statistic really scares me. This is one too many children being overweight and unhealthy in the early stage of life.

In the United States, the overall health of the pediatric population has improved. On the other hand, what hasn’t improved in the pediatric population is the significant increase in childhood obesity along with all the “baggage” that it comes with, health issues. (2)

-In obese children the chronic diseases that have been rising to cause a major concern are:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Hyperlipidemia (a condition when your blood has too many lipids, fats. These fats could be cholesterol and triglycerides)
  • Cardiovascular disease (2)

Being overweight or obese in the United States seems to become a leading “trend” It’s definitely not a trend that is a joke or healthy, it is more of an alarming concern.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1/3 of U.S. adults are either overweight or considered obese. (4) This impacts the pediatric population greatly. If parents are overweight/obese and are not correcting their eating habits and behavior, it will affect their children. Over a thirty-year span, the amount of children being overweight or obese has quadrupled. (5)

Dating back to 1965 when the percentage was 4%, it jumped to 15% in 2000. (4)

> Chronic diseases are known to develop over a long period of time. The shame is that the pediatric population is dealing with these chronic diseases at such a young age. (5)

> Children learn and develop habits when they are young whether its food related or not. This is why it is best for children to be taught healthy habits and nutrition in school.

The public health advocacy provides us with this fact sheet. The information provided in this sheet does not only inform you of an obesity problem but it also awakens you to the percentages and other statistics.

It is obvious that children (and adults) who are obese have underlying health conditions that are the result of excess weight. I believe that the best approach to try to lower the percentages is education.

According to the American Heart Association, we can have hope. Their tips below can bring some healthy habits to families.

  • Encourage healthy eating habits. Even small changes become a recipe for success.
  • Make favorite dishes healthier.
  • Remove calorie-rich temptations.
  • Help your kids understand the benefits of being physically active.
  • Help kids stay active.
  • Reduce sedentary time.

For more informative and helpful articles check out the Fill Your Plate blog. If you need some inspiration for healthy recipes Fill Your Plate has an amazing selection of recipes.



(1) Retrieved from

(2) Retrieved from

(3) Retrieved from

(4) Obesity Facts | Healthy Schools | CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved from

(5) Lopez, L. (n.d.). Barrett the Honors College Arizona State University. Overweight Youth: The Prevention of Premature Chronic Disease Development.

(6) Retrieved from



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