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Childhood Obesity can lead to serious children’s health risks

Childrens Health > Childhood Obesity can lead to serious children’s health risks

Ever think your child would be affected by type 2 diabetes? How about hypertension? These are just adult diseases that you shouldn’t have to worry about in your children, right? Wrong! The occurrence of these diseases and others are showing up much more frequently in children now than in the past. The reason is childhood obesity.

A staggering 15.3 percent of children are considered obese today. That corresponds to 1 in 5 kids and is over double the number of children obese just a short 20 years ago. When the condition of obesity exists in children, there is an increase in the likelihood of serious medical conditions affecting those children’s health.

Some of the serious children’s health risks you could face if your child is obese are:

Asthma: A serious condition which affects the passageways of the lungs. Most “asthma attacks”, as they are called, consist of the constriction and inflammation of these passageways. Non-allergic asthma, as can be found in obese individuals, can be triggered by simple exercise, cold air, and upper respiratory infections. Although obesity may not be the actual cause of asthma, the lifestyle of little activity is normally seen in both conditions.

Sleep Apnea: The term used to describe when a person stops breathing completely while sleeping. This condition can lead to disturbed sleeping patterns, which can affect concentration. Poor sleep can also cause fatigue, tiredness and irritability when experienced for a long period of time. Seven percent of children who are obese experience sleep apnea.

Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that results when the body cannot effectively use insulin which is manufactured in the body. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas as a response to increased levels of glucose, also known as blood sugar, in the blood. Once thought of as an adult disease, the first cases of type 2 diabetes were recently diagnosed in children. Although this condition is still very rare in children, experts expect a rise in diagnosis of type 2 diabetes that corresponds to the rise in obesity.

Hypertension: More commonly known as high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. When it is high, the heart has to work much harder to get the blood to various parts of the body. Hypertension occurs nine times more frequently in obese children. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart problems, stroke, eye and kidney disease.

Phychological Effects: Young children and teens suffer as much emotionally as they do physically when they are obese. Overweight and obese children can find themselves teased, taunted and excluded by others their own age simply because of their weight. There is also the possibility of negative assumptions being made about your child if they are obese, such as that they are lazy, unclean, and unfeeling.

If you believe your child might be suffering from obesity, it should not be dismissed as something “they will grow out of”. The health risks are too great! Immediate treatment by a health care professional is crucial to improve your children’s health.

Childrens Health > Childhood Obesity can lead to serious children’s health risks