Childhood Obesity And The Impacts On Quality of Life



DAHMER, Alana Da Silva Ferreira Santos [1], MACIEL, Dinair Morais [2]

DAHMER, Alana Da Silva Ferreira Santos. MACIEL, Dinair Morais. Childhood Obesity And The Impacts on Quality of Life. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 06, Ed. 04, Vol. 12, pp. 161-171. April 2021. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link:


Childhood obesity has shown an increase in its prevalence, causing many chronic diseases and mortality. Among children and adolescents, there was a very large increase in obesity, with poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle as etiological factors. The present study constitutes a systematic review of the literature, carried out through the search for articles, scientific journals and books. The results obtained in the researches were that the factors: behavior and environment are the main responsible for the growth of the population of obese children and adolescents, affecting physical, emotional, social health in all aspects related to their health and quality of life. Measures to promote and prevent childhood obesity, such as education and re-education, changes in eating habits and lifestyle of children and family members, are fundamental in controlling and combating childhood obesity.

Keywords: Obesity, Infant, Quality of life.


Childhood obesity has shown an increase in its prevalence, causing many chronic diseases and mortality.

Among children and adolescents there was a very large increase in obesity, with poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle as etiological factors. Silva, Costa and Ribeiro (2008) also emphasize that childhood obesity has been a health problem that has existed for years.

One of the concerns generated by childhood obesity and the precocity with which health alterations may appear, especially at the cardiovascular, orthopedic, hormonal and respiratory levels, in addition to the persistence of obesity until adulthood (SBP, 2008).

The increase in the occurrence of childhood obesity is related to several factors, meals outside the home, the insertion of women in the labor market and, with this, children spend more time alone, fear of letting them do physical activities alone outside the home and absence of parents at the time of meals (LEMOS et al., 2016).

As aggravating factors of childhood obesity, one can consider the excessive consumption of these types of foods filled with fats, biscuits, sweets, fried foods, soft drinks in large quantities, and the reduction of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, vegetables and milk. (ARAÚJO et al., 2016).

It is important to highlight some problems that may occur with obesity in the long term, such as growth problems, true precocious puberty in children who are increasingly using medications to control this puberty, with the prevalence being higher in females.In addition, we have respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, orthopedic, dermatological problems, among others, says (SOARES and PETROSKI, 2003).

According to data from THE (WHO 2011), there are about 42.5 and 51.8 million children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years who are overweight or obese, therefore being considered a major public health problem today.

There are multiple factors involved in infant weight gain, which are genetic, behavioral and environmental. The food not adequate and balanced, and the use of foods composed of sugars, fats with a large amount of energy and calories, lack of regular practice of physical exercises, these being the main environmental factors.

Obese children and adolescents are likely to develop chronic diseases in adulthood, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, triglycerides, metabolic syndromes, infarction, and stroke.Thus, this study aimed to raise the main causes associated with the development of childhood obesity and the impacts on quality of life, in addition to highlighting the strategies and measures for promoting and preventing obesity.

This research is justified by the relevance of the theme, because childhood obesity is already considered a global endemic disease that directly affects the quality of life, in all phases of the individual’s life.

The recognition of these factors is what influences the individual’s body weight, it is of paramount importance for the appropriate choice of treatment strategy in the prevention of obesity and associated comorbidities, improving their quality of life.


The present study constitutes a systematic review of the literature, carried out through scientific articles in scientific journals and books from 2008 to 2018, in English and Portuguese.

The descriptors used for the research were childhood obesity, risk factors for childhood obesity.

Twenty-eight articles relevant to the theme were found, 17 articles were read and the articles were used to discuss the paper.



The etiology of obesity is multifactorial and involves endogenous and exogenous factors. Susceptibility factors, such as genetic factors (susceptible genes), play an important role and may be determinants of obesity.

According to Miranda et al. (2011) factors such as age, sex, lifestyle lipid oxidation, sympathetic nervous activity, metabolism of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle, smoking, and hormone levels of leptin, insulin, sex steroids and cortisol participate in variations in body composition.

Although genetic factors are of great importance in the etiology of obesity, the trumpet has as its point that environmental factors areundoubtedly moreimportant for the development of obesity, in addition, (SABIN e SHIELD, s.d) consider that obesity in childhood is due, in most cases, to inadequate lifestyle.

Miranda et al. (2011) also claim that bad eating habits and the abuse of fast and caloric sandwiches, are exogenous factors of obesity and that are currently being greatly influenced by modern technologies, internet, TV, radio, advertisements in addition children are being exposed daily for long hours to technologies such as cell phones, video games, and are not practicing exercises and physical activities, becoming sedentary and favoring weight gain.

Other risk factors for childhood obesity found in the selected studies were: difficult family relationships and difficulty in personal relationships; as well as psychological disorders, thus generating depression, anxiety and difficulty in social adjustment, which may have an action as the cause of obesity as well as an effect (MIRANDA et al., 2011).

Teixeira, Chiconatto et al. (2017) highlight that people’s lifestyles are faster, and with less time to prepare healthy homemade foods, so they are opting for industrialized, frozen foods, canned by ease of preparation, and the media greatly encourage the population to make use of these types of food.

According to Longo; Silva et al (2010), the increase in cases of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension are caused by the consumption of foods with excess salt, sugar, fats, cholesterol and refined carbohydrates.

Vita and Pinho (2010), point out that eating habits are the result of cultural and social factors that can be modified through need and food reeducation. Já Kranz; Findeis and Shrestha (2008) point out that an important precautionary form of childhood obesity is to learn in the childhood lifestyle factors that can be modified, such as eating patterns and lack of physical activity that can provide body weight gain, since the identification of risk factors for obesity is of great importance for its prevention.

Oliveira et al. (2015) emphasize the importance of breastfeeding as a prevention of childhood obesity, breast milk meets nutritional needs adequately and immune protection, given the child the opportunity to regulate their own intake.

According to Friedman (2009) obese children need to receive a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, to provide weight loss. Other factors such as gestational diabetes, birth weight above 4,000g or less than 1,500g and inadequate uterine development can trigger childhood obesity.


The (WHO) World Health Organization describes the quality of life as “the understanding of the subject about his position in life, in the context of the culture and value systems in which he lives, and in relation to his expectations, objectives, standards and concerns”, that is, a globalized vision, considering in turn several dimensions of the human being.

Bass and Beresin (2009) report that “quality of life” is a factor that encompasses the psychosocial interaction of children and their families, and the training of performance in their functions. The “quality of life related to health status” includes the assessment of physical symptoms, functional capacity and the psychosocial impact of the disease on the child and his/her family.

Turco et al. (2011) highlight that obesity does not only bring harm to the physical part, it affects the individual in all aspects related to his health and quality of life, placing him in a condition of exclusion. In addition to the complicated intrafamily relationship, capable of causing psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and difficulty in social adjustment can be observed in individuals with obesity, whether endogenous or exogenous. Luiz et al. (2010) discuss whether these psychological disorders act as a cause or effect of the weight gain process.

Oliveira and Fanaro (2015) state that childhood obesity is a risk factor for diseases such as infarction, dyslipidemias, cancer, precocious puberty, type 2 diabetes and arthritis. Other disorders may be triggered, such as hypertension, diseases in the gallbladder, among other morbid dysfunctions, which may lead to death in adulthood.

Obese children are subjectto intense psychological stress due to social stigma. Respiratory complications, orthopedic, dermatological, immunological and hormonal problems are also frequent. Whatever the causes, obesity in childhood and adolescence can last in adulthood, they say (OLIVEIRA and FANARO, 2015).

According to Turco et al. (2011) point out that frustrations with body dissatisfaction due to weight gain and beauty standards imposed by society affect the physical and emotional state of both children and adolescents causing anxieties, panic disorder, agitation, fear among other emotional diseases.

Yet Turco et al. (2011) state that lack of partial or chronic sleep in the child results in endocrine and metabolic alterations that increase the risk of overweight and obesity, in addition to lack of memory, depression and anguish.

Rodriguez et al. (2010) suggest that sleep disorders are related to anxiety and depression, favoring weight gain causing obesity.

According to Balls et al. (2009) the negative impact of obesity on quality of life is the subject of current studies that suggest the negative influence of obesity on the psychological health status of children and adolescents.


According to Reis et al. (2011) health promotion is a political and social method that aims to improve the health and quality of life of individuals.

Childhood obesity is considered a serious public health problem, due to the occurrence of chronic diseases causing a decrease in the life expectancy of the population.

According to Oliveira and Funaro (2015), it is of great importance to monitor the growth and development of children since birth and, especially, in the first year of life, which is when weaning early and/or introducing food improperly, both in quantity and quality.

Feeding in the first years of life is directly linked with repercussions on the health of the individual in the future.

As a measure to prevent obesity, the World Health Organization (WHO) (2010) indicates 10 steps that must be completed to ensure a good feeding of infants (Chart 1), among them that all children should be breastfed exclusively until the 6th month of life, being properly maintained for at least up to two years , and breast milk should be supplemented from six months of life. The practice of breastfeeding currently saves the lives of 6 million children each year, preventing diarrhea and acute respiratory infections.

Table 1The 10 steps for healthy eating of children under 2 years of age.

Source: World Health Organization – WHO (2010).

They affirm Reis et al. (2011) that government public policies require important measures in addition to informing and educating the population to promote an environment that stimulates and supports healthy eating patterns, children’s food reeducation and guidance to family members, regular practice of physical exercises and highlights the importance of the presence of nutritionist professionals performing nutritional guidance in schools, school meals should be balanced by giving preference to foods such as fruits, grains, whole grains, vegetables, restricting the sale of unhealthy foods.

Also Reis et al. (2011) highlight the importance of strategies for the development of food education activities and programs, nutritional monitoring in schools with partnerships of the department of education, epidemiological surveillance and the state government to guarantee the human right to adequate food for all.


Through this literature review, it is possible to conclude that factors involving behavior and the environment such as poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and lifestyle are the main responsible for the growth of childhood obesity, causing physical, emotional, psychological, social complications, that is, compromising all aspects in their quality of life.

Thus, childhood obesity is currently considered as a serious problem that affects public health, causing several chronic diseases that evolve throughout the individual’s life.

There is a need for measures to promote and prevent childhood obesity to be implemented through education programs carried out by schools in partnership with departments and governments.

Actions directed to education and food reeducation, changes in eating habits and inadequate lifestyle of children and family members, parents should be made aware how to make a balanced and healthy diet indoors, stipulate times for meals since the child will learn what is being offered, in addition to encouraging the practice of activities and physical exercises regularly in schools and at home are fundamental for control and combating childhood obesity.


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[1] Student of the 12th period of Medicine.

[2] Student of the 12th period of Medicine.

Submitted: March, 2021.

Approved: April, 2021.


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