Consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle during childhood
Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability in adulthood. Overweight and obese children are more likely to stay obese into adulthood and to develop noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. For most NCDs resulting from obesity, the risks depend partly on the age of onset and on the duration of obesity. Obese children and adolescents suffer from both short-term and long-term health consequences.
The most significant health consequences of childhood overweight and obesity, that often do not become apparent until adulthood, include:
- cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke);
- musculoskeletal disorders, especially osteoarthritis; and
- certain types of cancer (endometrial, breast and colon).
At least 2.6 million people each year die as a result of being overweight or obese.
- increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts;
- limit energy intake from total fats and shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats;
- limit the intake of sugars; and
- be physically active – accumulate at least 60 minutes of regular, moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity each day that is developmentally appropriate.