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Childhood Obesity: A Weighty Problem

Posted Jan 28 2013 5:10pm

belly From Your Health Journal…..”I love visiting ‘The Nation’ website, as they always have quality articles, so I always try to promote their site. Today, they had article called Childhood Obesity: A Weighty Problem by Dr. Pavintra Harinsoot Somnuke. As we have discussed here recently, childhood obesity is rising in many areas of the United States (and the world), and children who are very young already suffer from risk factors for heart disease. Type 2 diabetes, which used to be considered an adult disease is now being diagnosed in many children, as it is environmental, related to obesity. In the US, the prevalence of obesity in children between the ages of 6 and 11 has nearly tripled in just the past 30 years, going from 7 per cent in 1980 to 20 per cent in 2008. During that same period, the obesity rate for youngsters aged 12 to 19 years rose from 5 per cent up to 18 per cent. Obese children in many cases turn into obese adults, and it is hard to reverse the trend without serious changes. Today’s younger generation takes in too many calories, favours “junk food” that has little nutritional value, consumes soft drinks and beverages packed with sugar and calories, and spends too much time on sedentary activities like watching TV and playing computer games rather than part taking in outdoor physical activities, sports or exercise. Please support Dr. Somnuke’s article as well as The Nation website by clicking the link I have provided below.”

From the article…..

When media coverage focuses on the epidemic of childhood obesity, it tends to highlight how serious the problem has become in the western world, especially in the US. And, as statistics have clearly shown, there are good reasons for this genuine alarm.

In the US, the prevalence of obesity in children between the ages of 6 and 11 has nearly tripled in just the past 30 years, going from 7 per cent in 1980 to 20 per cent in 2008. During that same period, the obesity rate for youngsters aged 12 to 19 years rose from 5 per cent up to 18 per cent.

Obesity isn’t easy for kids to “outgrow”. Studies show that, among adults who had been obese during pre-school age, one in three will still be obese into adulthood. Nearly half of obese school-age children will be obese adults.

Children born to overweight or obese parents stand a much higher chance of having weight problems during childhood compared to kids born to normal-weight parents.

At any age, being overweight can lead to a risk factor for health problems and diseases – cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint and bone problems, sleep apnea, low self-esteem, depression and insulin resistance, a pre-cursor to diabetes, fertility problems, strokes, osteoarthritis and various types of cancer.

While the problem in western countries has been building for decades, Thailand’s childhood obesity problem is a more recent phenomenon. Statistics from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health reveal significant increases in the rate of obesity among children.

In the past five years, the percentage of obese pre-schoolers rose from 5.8 per cent to 7.9 per cent; in school-age children, the obesity rate went from 5.8 per cent up to 6.7 per cent over the same period. These statistics represent five-year obesity growth rates of 36 per cent (pre-school age) and 15 per cent (school age).

Among Thailand’s young adults (those in the 20 to 29 age range), the obesity rate over the same five-year period increased 36 per cent among men, and for women the obesity rate grew 47 per cent.

Parents can be somewhat oblivious to the situation, as many don’t realise their child is obese. While the Body Mass Index (BMI) is well-recognised as a measuring tool for adults, it wasn’t specifically designed for children.

To read the full article….. Click here

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