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MAIN Arrow to Health Kids Health

Curbing Childhood Obesity
Encouraging Healthier Lifestyles For Kids

Besides being labled "the fat kid", children face an entire lifetime of health complications
brought about by diabetes, a condition that should be curbed - and fast - among the young....

overweight boyObesity is a world wide problem across all ethnic groups and ages. In the USA, one in every four children is obese.

Aside from the social and psychological problems that being the "fat kid" can cause, it's causing kids to develop Type 2 diabetes and other "adult" diseases earlier in life. Children were very rarely diagnosed with this adult form of diabetes, but now doctors report seeing it more and more often.

The link between obesity in kids and diabetes becomes obvious when you see the statistics...80 percent of kids diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are overweight.

Like people in most of the developed nations, Americans tend to eat more calories than they burn. Whether it's a change of eating habits or activity, it's clear that Americans need to be taught healthier habits at an earlier age.

In the USA, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists partnered with the President's Council on Physical Fitness to spread the word to children and young adults when their bodies were still developing and while their metabolisms were changing. The thinking is that kids can make decisions that make sense...when they understand the reasons. .

If things don't change, the future state of America's health is not promising. The latest figures say that 65 percent of American adults are either obese or overweight. . Estimates predict that as many as 50 percent of the current crop of obese children and adolescents will become obese adults and obesity can kill!. The deaths of 300,000 people each year in the United States are thought to be related to their obesity.

Encouraging outdoor play and
reducing calorie intake is the
simplest way to help fight
obesity among the young.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) obesity among toddlers and older kids includes both short-term and long-term effects including:

Immediate health effects:

Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Obese adolescents are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.

Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.

Long-term health effects:

Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults.

Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Like most family projects, losing weight and getting fit works best when everyone gets excited about the process. Eating healthy foods does not mean eating awful foods. Sugar substitutes and smaller portions will usually do the job. Adding a bit of regular exercise - like a walk after dinner - can help win the battle of the bulging bodies.

Source: Newstream

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More about childhood obesity around the Web:

Childhood obesity - Wikipedia - An overall guide to the condition, its symptoms and risk factors plus more on the psychological and developmental ramifications on young children and teens, with related resources.

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