Blame it on environment and genes
Assoc Prof Loke explains that most overweight children do not have a medical condition. Rather, factors like genes and environment are likely the culprits.
For instance, children whose parents are obese are at a higher risk of becoming obese themselves, he shares.
Local studies have also shown that parents may even affect their kids’ weight even before they are born, during the antenatal period.
A child has a greater risk of obesity if the mother is obese before pregnancy, gains excessive weight during pregnancy and/or has gestational diabetes, says Dr Yvonne Lim, consultant at NUH’s Youth Lifestyle Change Clinic, a multidisciplinary weight management clinic.
“Hence, parents should keep a healthy weight before conceiving and maintain a healthy weight throughout pregnancy,” says Dr Lim, who is also a consultant with the NUH’s division of paediatric endocrinology.