Better social and economical conditions, bad eating habits and a more sedentary lifestyle cause some physical alterations which are the result of a muscle, skeleton and ponderal unbalance. These changes have caused an important increase of childhood obesity reaching peaks up to 20% of the healthy young in many countries.

As with many conditions, childhood obesity can be brought on by one of the most important causes which is children’s physical inactivity due to the family, school and environmental factors.

Physical activity is essential for every individual especially during the developmental age. The growth of a child as for every living is closely connected to the necessary functions coming from the environment they are living in. Every function is developed as a consequence of the specific demands deriving from the environment and every organ has had definite characteristics as the environment may require. The skeleton and muscle systems harmonically develop in our body and in every organ, especially in the individuals that stimulate them and practise properly. We can consider obesity as a pathology characterized by an excess of adipose tissue due to an increase of the volume and of the number of the adipocytes (the fat cells that compose adipose tissue).

It has been quite important for everyone to fight obesity since the developing age because adolescence is the most critical phase when the “potential obesity of an individual” is formed by the number of the adipocytes. During the adolescence the number of the fat cells considerably increases and remains unchanged for the rest of life. It is important to prevent this increasing of adipose tissue and the number of adipocytes.

In a normal weight individual the number of fat cells is about 25-30 thousand millions, in obese people the number increases on an average between 40 and 100 thousand millions.tessuto adiposo-bianco-bruno

Going by adolescence towards the adult age only the adipocytes’ size change: they increase when people get fat and they reduce with slimming. In obese people the adipocytes’ volume doubles rather than in people with normal weight.

The most serious effects of obesity can be precociously caused in children and teenagers, the most common are breathing apparatus problems (night apnea, tiredness); osteoarticulation (varism and valgis, inferior limbs, reduced articulating mobility, to be flat-footed); the digestive tract and the cardiocirculation (the incapacity to answer promptly to any effort, also the lightest one and for a short time, reduced ventilatory efficiency).

Moreover, during the developing age obesity can cause other serious psychological problems. The obese child can often feel uncomfortable and can be ashamed so that he could live away from social life and from their normal ludic and physical activities. They are children who often like to stay at home overeating. So a dangerous vicious circle could start (overweight, physical inactivity, no social group life and overeating as well).

Staying physically inactive is usually both the cause and the effect of obesity. Obese children are likely to be overweight as an adult because of their physical inactivity and their increasing of adipose cells during the developing age.

The best method to become healthy as an adult is to prevent the overweight condition and its psycho-physical effects connected to obesity. So children need to associate the right eating habits to a fit physical activity considering the phycho-physical difficulties in relation to the developing age which could be worse due to obesity.

So it is also important for the family to consult an expert of phycho-physical education, who can help parents to train children to a proper lifestyle till adulthood. In this way they are more likely to become healthy adults.

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