Sunday, August 23, 2009

Child Obesity and Diabetes

We cannot discuss obesity in the same terms when it deals with children as it relates to adults. Some researchers avoid the word “obesity” altogether in an effort to avoid stigmatizing individuals. Others use the term “childhood obesity” to speak of a general phenomenon. Nevertheless, obesity is indeed a problem among young people, no matter what terminology you choose to employ.

Besides the obvious psychological issues that children afflicted with obesity often have to deal with, childhood obesity can cause numerous physical health problems. One of the biggest concerns in recent years has been the rising number of children afflicted with type 2 diabetes – a disease that previously mainly afflicted adults.

In the course of the last two decades, the statistics of children and adult afflicted with this disease have risen to fifty percent. Today, nearly thirty percent of all adults and twenty five percent of all children struggle with obesity.

What’s more, children who are obese often develop into obese adults. Parallel to the increase in obesity has been the increase in type 2 diabetes, also known as non insulin dependent diabetes.

Throw obesity in to the equation, and this type of diabetes can be very difficult to treat. It can even cause the body to develop an insulin resistance.

Diabetes 2 is not the only physical health issue related to obesity. People who are overweight and/or obese are at major risk for contacting severe chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and hypertension. For children afflicted with severe weight problems, they can contact gall bladder disease, liver disease, sleep apnea, and may run the risk of high cholesterol.

By Dr. Mark Clayson

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