Overweight and obesity are an international pandemic. The causes are mostly nutritional and are related to excessive caloric intake and a sedentary lifestyle. Often investigations are done to look for an underlying cause such as an hormonal imbalance (thyroid, cortisol), or to investigate for associated disorders that may accompany or be caused by the obesity such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, dyslipidaemia (high cholesterol), insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Whatever the cause the condition requires a careful assessment and intervention because the short, intermediate and long term consequences of obesity are dire. Childhood obesity is one of the most disabling conditions of modern times, leading to health risks, social isolation, discrimination and loss of self-esteem.
Many people think that children can regulate their own food intake, this is a myth. Children need to be taught the principles and practice of a healthy life-style from an early age. There are numerous fad diets that need to be analyzed debunked and discussed before arriving at nutritional and overall treatment plan for your child and family. Typically these include high protein and low carbohydrate diets, low GI diets and low fat diets.
Some specific obesity syndromes need specialist intervention such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, Alstrom syndrome and Down syndrome.