A Growing Concern - Childhood Obesity
Increasingly, obese children are experiencing medical disorders that were once seen only in obese adults: (Pediatricians are seeing hypertension, dyslipidemia, and noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in the most obese children and adolescents.( If this trend continues, the economic costs to the nation(s health care system would be overwhelming.

Obese children also suffer from pyschosocial complications related to their excessive weight. These range from poor self-esteem to discrimination by peers and adults. These complications are exacerbated in a society that places extreme value on thinness.

As if obesity in childhood were not bad enough, there is the tendency for overweight children to develop into overweight adults. Again, genetics plays a role, but lifestyle and eating habits are also strong factors: (The risk for adult overweight is about twice as great for individuals who were overweight as children compared with those who were of normal weight.( Studies have shown that there are links between childhood obesity and adult morbidity and mortality. A study of adults who had not been obese in childhood and those who had been obese found an association between relative weight change from childhood to adulthood and the development of certain disorders in maturity: (This finding suggests that obesity in adulthood that became established in childhood may be more harmful than obesity that

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