Childhood Obesity Facts

Effects of childhood obesity

Childhood obesity facts are staggering these days. When I was a child in the 1970's, rarely was there an obese child and if there was, generally it was one poor soul who was tormented. Today, per the CDC, the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.

Unfortunately, the CDC does not state current obesity rates of children to date and the most recent data dates back to 2008.

Here are some interesting childhood obesity facts:

Obesity Rates Rising

  • Over the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among children of all age groups, increasing nearly five-fold among those ages 6-11
  • Today, nearly 25 million children are overweight or obese
  • Some experts believe that if these childhood obesity facts continues to increase, our current generation of children will become the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents
(Since the American diet has great influence in other countries, the rates are rising in many other countries as well.)

Failing Food Supply

  • The average teen eats fast food twice a week
  • Only 3 out of 10 of high school seniors report eating green vegetables “nearly every day or more"
  • In a study of 200 neighborhoods, there were three times as many supermarkets in wealthy neighborhoods as in poor neighborhoods leaving fast food restaurants as the most convenient meal option for many low income families
  • Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food.

Sedentary Lifestyles

  • Almost one in four children does not participate in any free-time physical activity
  • 92% of elementary schools don’t have daily physical education classes year-round. Less than a quarter of high school students take daily physical education classes
  • A typical American youth spends approximately four to five hours a day watching TV, using the computer or playing video games

When I was a child as I said in the 1970's, we rarely ate outside of the home. We were just as busy as any other family with many activities yet we did not have the additives that are in the food supply today. This one of the largest components in childhood obesity facts.

We had to play outside in the summer. Never did we have the opportunity to sit in front of the television and video games were not "the norm" for children of the 70's.

obese-babies

The effects of childhood obesity are devastating and include:

  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • which include some of the below symptoms:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Imbalanced Cholesterol Readings
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Diabetes
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Asthma
  • Sleep Apnia
  • Skin Conditions
  • Menstrual Abnormalities
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • Heart Disease

This doesn't include the emotional stigmas tied to obesity. As adults it is difficult enough to handle the social stigma of obesity. Imagine how your child suffers.

I beg you to read this site and put into place some of the recommendations I have made. Our future generations count on you! Who will be the future leaders of this world? It could be your child! Feed him/her well and watch them thrive.

From the publication Diabetes care on childhood obesity facts

Overweight children with high levels of the hormone insulin in their blood are also likely to have high levels of homocysteine, a substance that appears to raise the risk of heart disease, stroke, and birth defects, as well as possibly other adverse effects as well.

In addition, these children and adolescents appear to have lower levels of folate, a vitamin that can lower homocysteine levels.

The combination of elevated homocysteine and reduced folate could put these children at increased risk for developing heart disease, explain researchers from the University of Graz in Austria, who studied the link in 84 children and adolescents.

"The implication of our finding might be that reduction of cardiovascular risk factors (such as) body fat and insulin -- by dieting and/or physical activity -- might improve homocysteine metabolism," Dr. Siegfried Gallistl, the study's lead author, explained in an interview with Reuters Health. He also noted that that insulin appears to inhibit enzymes that play a role in homocysteine metabolism.

Insulin is the hormone responsible for getting glucose (sugar) in the blood into cells throughout the body to use as fuel. The cells of people with type 2 diabetes do not respond adequately to insulin. As a result, levels of both glucose and insulin in the blood remain high.

"Our study demonstrates for the first time that insulin is a main correlate of homocysteine in obese children and adolescents and suggests that (high insulin) may contribute to impairment of homocysteine metabolism in childhood obesity," the researchers conclude.

Diabetes Care 2000;23:1348-1352

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Causes of Childhood Obesity

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