ES records increase in the number of overweight and obese children

Child obesity. Photo: Marcelo Castle Jr. / Agencia Brasil

A study conducted by the Department of Health (SESA) indicates that indicators of childhood obesity are increasing in Espirito Santo. Of the 60,384 children assessed in 2021 by the Primary Health Care Network (RAS), 3,904 had obesity, according to the Sesa Food and Nutrition Surveillance System.

Also according to data from Sesa’s Food and Nutrition Surveillance System, 6.47% of children assessed by the Primary Health Care Network in 2021 were obese. In the same year 2021, with the sum of the state’s childhood and adolescent obesity indicators, there has been an increase of 14.83% of the total 60,834 assessments, equivalent to 8,959 children.

This Friday (3), the day on which Child Obesity Awareness Day is commemorated, the Department of Health warns of the importance of those responsible for maintaining care in the feeding routine of children and adolescents.

Renee Jales, a technical reference and nutritionist at the Special Center for Primary Care, reports that the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents has risen to epidemic proportions over the past four decades and is now representing a global public health problem.

“It is essential that parents and caregivers monitor their children’s development in regular health services. Also, it is important that they create an environment that is conducive to healthy eating, reduced sitting behavior and good sleep practice, and of course, without the need for weight change in children and / or adolescents. It’s important to be aware that childhood obesity can lead to serious and serious mental health problems, which can last a person’s lifetime, “said Ryane Jales.


Obesity in children and adolescents can be the result of a variety of factors, such as individual genetics, or behavioral, environmental, family, community, school, social, and political factors. In this case, the environmental factor, which is the main cause of obesity prevalence in the population, refers to places where there are unhealthy food choices and promoters or facilitators of sedentary behavior.

Also, in addition to physical inactivity, there are reasons such as absence or short duration of breastfeeding and excessive processing, excessive consumption of calorie-dense foods rich in fats, sugars and sodium, increased sedentary behavior and insufficient sleep.

Obese children and adolescents may have:

– Respiratory problems;

– Increased risk of fractures and other osteoarticular injuries;

– Systemic arterial hypertension;

Early markers of cardiovascular disease;

– Urinary incontinence;

– Cancer;

– Psychological effects such as low self-esteem, social isolation and eating disorders, among others.

In addition to these consequences of childhood obesity, throughout life, the individual may have:

– Attention deficit disorder;

– Social isolation;

– Bullying;

– Low self-esteem;

– Negative self-image;

– Eating Disorders.

Tips for caring

Regular monitoring in the primary health unit to monitor the development of the child, through the curve in the child’s handbook, is an attitude to maintain the health care of the child or adolescent. Other important issues are acquiring behavioral patterns, such as good eating habits, physical activity and sleep, through their own behavior. That is, social modeling is fundamental.

It is important for caregivers to understand that parental practices, such as controlling the availability and accessibility of food within the family (especially limiting the availability of over-processed foods); Monitor screen time of children and adolescents (television, cell phones, video games and computers / tablets); Supporting extracurricular physical activity and children’s outdoor play performance, among others, contributes to the effectiveness of behavioral modeling among children and adolescents.

Habits are formed in childhood, during which time obesity develops and a person is 75% more likely to become obese in adulthood. In this sense, the goal of childhood obesity prevention is a better quality of life for infants and older children.

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