Why do you think your child is overweight or obese?
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What causes childhood obesity?
Most obesity is caused by excessive daily caloric intake relative to daily caloric expenditure. Excessive intake of calories is most commonly associated with poor food-quality choices (for example, fast-food high in fat and sugar calories) but may also result from over-ingestion of "healthy foods." The simple biological fact is that all excessive calories (regardless whether triple cheese meat lovers pizza vs. fat free yogurt with berries) will be stored by the body and only as fat. Attempts at only reducing caloric intake without increasing caloric utilization (read: 60 minutes daily vigorous exercise) will only help temporarily. If calorie restriction is the sole approach toward losing weight, the body's metabolism adopts a conservation mode and learns how to get by on fewer calories. Adding physical activity to the calorie-burning equation encourages breakdown of excessive carbohydrate and fat stores, allowing for more functional and long-term health.
Body weight (not necessarily excessive body fatness) is a reflection of genes, metabolism, behaviors, culture, and socioeconomic status. These relatively infrequent causes of obesity will be detailed below.