Significance, causes and effects of obesity in childhood and adolescence

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George F. Zarotis


Body weight is influenced by the motor and eating habits of every human being and by a biological or genetic predisposition, the effect of which cannot be quantified with accuracy. Obesity occurs as an expression of a positive energy balance or as a consequence of the absence of a balanced diet. Obesity is an acknowledged and important risk factor for a range of conditions, especially diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to approach, analyse and ultimately examine the significance, causes and effects of obesity on children and adolescents. The method adopted for the study was a review of the relevant literature. Based on this study, we discover that, due to people’s changing living conditions, the spread of overweight and obesity in industrialized countries has greatly increased, therefore rapid action is needed. Overweight and obesity have always existed. However, the voluptuous body, that formerly was considered a sign of wealth or a survival strategy, is now stigmatized. Overweight people not only have a higher risk for their health in the form of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus or premature bone and joint damage, but they do not correspond to today's ideal beauty. The causes of obesity are due to many interdependent factors. It is therefore difficult to formulate therapeutic proposals that have general validity. In summary, we can say that for the increasing number of overweight and obese children and adolescents the medical factors are less important. The causes should be sought in the social conditions and behaviours of certain social groups. It is important that children and young people are permanently involved in the subject of nutrition and movement, and that this engagement accompanies them throughout their development. Even if the politics supports, doctors encourage, health funds, kindergartens and schools raise awareness, sport clubs motivate, the media inform, parents recognize and offer incentives, the hardest part of the job should be done by the target group in order to achieve personal success; that is to remain or become "healthy".


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How to Cite
Zarotis, G. F. (2018). Significance, causes and effects of obesity in childhood and adolescence. International Journal of Innovation Education and Research, 6(11), 136-150.
Author Biography

George F. Zarotis, University of the Aegean

Faculty of Human Sciences


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