Childhood Obesity and dentistry problems are far from unrelated. Yet we must remind many dentists that it is important to support children and their families who are trapped in a tendency to overeat. You see, at Dentistry for Children, we believe that “When it comes to tackling the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, dentists are in a unique position to start a conversation with parents.”
Obesity, Dentistry, and Timing
We just completed a season of overindulgence and huge temptations for consuming fatty, sugary foods. Now the school sessions have resumed. So, perhaps this is a good time to establish or reinstate control and discipline over the family’s diet. And we know many families have made fine New Year’s Resolutions to improve their lives with better nutrition
Childhood Obesity Causes: Unhealthy Sugar, Fat, and Lack of Exercise
You see we understand that, for those who are obese, excessive holiday eating can aggravate pre-existing conditions. We in the dental profession see the worsening of problems such as caries and diabetes co-morbidities. Now, we are not trying to be party-poopers. So, of course, everyone deserves a treat now and then. However, we believe oral health professionals can really assist families in the cause of improved nutrition and better dental hygiene. We can help parents of obese children with a supportive conversation about the problems of obesity.
- After all, we are the health professionals that blew the whistle on the juice and sugary drink industry.
- Likewise, we gave you the warning against the night-time formula bottle in bed and baby bottle decay.
Childhood Obesity: Facts Every Parent Should Know
Childhood obesity has a real backstory. It did not just begin.
Of course, obesity is not just a childhood problem. “Obesity has been trending upward in the United States for the past three decades. In 1989, government data reported obesity prevalence for all states below 15%. Yet by 2016, the prevalence of obesity among US adults had reached nearly 40%.”
Health Risks-a-Plenty with Obesity in 2020
Experts at the CDC state obesity health risks such as arterial hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular diseases is on the rise.
- Statistics are shocking among 2-5-year-olds. Obesity is at 13.9%.
- It’s even worse for 6- to 11-year-olds, with the number rising to 18.4%.
- Then the number jumps again, to 20.5% among 12-19-year-olds.
- Childhood Obesity is also high in the Hispanic Community
CDC experts also discovered childhood obesity is more common among certain populations.
(25.8%) Hispanic children were found to be obese.
Non-Hispanic African-American children fared slightly better but still very high, at 22.0%.
Non-Hispanic whites came in at 14.1 percent. Non-Hispanic Asians (11.0%) had lower obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.
Gum Disease Rears its Ugly Head
Likewise, victims of childhood obesity might “have lower Calcium or Vitamin C in their diets.
Sensitive Issues: Childhood Obesity, Dentistry, and Nutritional Education agree. Childhood obesity is preventable. The key to treating it in your child is education, both for you and your child.
At Dentistry for Children, we want to avoid sounding harsh or judgmental. Yet, here we are, in a unique position to help you with weight management that will affect your child’s current and future oral health.
Casey Hein, BSDH, RDH, MBA, put it this way, “The most challenging part of obesity intervention is starting the conversation.”
Obesity is Preventable
At Dentistry for Children, we don’t want to upset or offend our families in any way. Just the very word “obese” can wound an adult’s self-confidence. And this is much truer so a child’s fragile ego.
In 2020, let us know if you want a conversation about obesity. We can tell you about better nutritional choices not only for your child’s teeth but for his or her overall health.
Plus we can inform you and your family about the details behind the relationship between obesity and periodontal diseases. To defeat Childhood Obesity takes a village of professionals. Dentists can support parents, physicians, nurses, educators, researchers, and dietitians. We can all work collaboratively in order to prevent obesity, caries, and diabetes.