Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Childhood Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity in Children

Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. Both terms mean that a person's weight is greater than what is considered healthy for his or her height. Children grow at different rates, so it isn't always easy to know when a child is obese or overweight. Ask your doctor to measure your child's height and weight to determine if he or she is in a healthy range.
If a weight loss program is necessary, involve the whole family in healthy habits so your child doesn't feel singled out. You can encourage healthy eating by serving more fruits and vegetables and buying fewer sodas and high-calorie, high-fat snack foods. Physical activity can also help your child overcome obesity or being overweight. Kids need about 60 minutes each day.

childhood obesity, diabetes

(NaturalNews) Widespread use of the sweetener fructose may be directly responsible for some of the ongoing increase in rates of childhood diabetes and obesity, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California-Davis and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Identification of Overweight, Impaired Glucose Tolerance, and Diabetes in Children

Genetic and environmental risk factors such as maternal obesity, gestational diabetes, and lack of physical activity can and should be identified at an early age.3236 BMI should be plotted by health care providers annually on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BMI growth charts, specific for age and gender, for all children in their care. Age-, gender-, and ethnicity-specific data for waist circumference can be used as an indicator of visceral distribution of fat.37 Counseling to promote weight loss through lifestyle modification should be offered to all children identified as being at risk for overweight or being overweight.

Screening of Individuals at Risk for T2DM

T2DM is often asymptomatic. Risk factors for T2DM include overweight and obesity, and signs of insulin resistance including acanthosis nigricans, precocious puberty, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and polycystic ovary syndrome (Table 1). 12 The American Diabetes Association recommends screening for diabetes among children with a BMI of ≥85th percentile for age and gender, with 2 additional risk factors for T2DM (Table 1). There is evidence to indicate that complications of diabetes frequently begin before symptoms appear. Findings of microangiopathic damage in newly diagnosed patients indicate that such damage predates the onset of clinical diabetes.3840 Indeed, autopsy studies reveal that atherosclerotic vascular change is prevalent among children and the extent of atherosclerosis is correlated with risk factors such as BMI and lipid levels.41 Aggressive treatment has been shown to retard the development of complications. Early identification of children with T2DM, therefore, holds the promise of preventing serious complications.