Sunday, October 7, 2018

More Ideas for Fighting Childhood Obesity

Approximately a third of the United States adult population is categorized as obese. Researchers in the U.S. and other places in the world are working to create methods to fight the disease. Obesity is associated with a number of serious chronic illnesses. Therefore, reducing obesity is an important goal. And since childhood obesity often leads to adult obesity, establishing effective, early-life, childhood obesity treatments for the disease is urgent. And a number of ideas that have been put forward to fight adult obesity might be useful in fighting childhood obesity.

For example, according to one investigator, rather than sitting for a long period of time at an office desk, it is healthier to take frequent standing breaks to "decrease your chances of getting diabetes. ..." Further, 'If you can also walk around your office, you get even more benefits. You will lose weight, you lessen your chance of heart disease, and you will improve your brain.' And this idea might apply to children.

For example, as one study concluded, "Interrupting sitting with brief moderate-intensity walking improved glucose metabolism without significantly increasing energy intake in children with overweight or obesity." Further, "interrupting sedentary behavior may be a promising intervention strategy for reducing metabolic risk in such children."

Another example of how a treatment for adult obesity may be useful for childhood obesity is the drug, Metformin. Metformin is often used in adults to fight type 2 diabetes. And it can also be helpful with weight loss in some cases. The drug is now being considered for the treatment of childhood obesity.  Indeed, one study indicates that the drug can lead to weight loss in children. The investigators concluded that "Metformin compared with placebo has beneficial effects on anthropometric and metabolic indicators in the management of childhood obesity."

Based on the above studies, healthcare providers might want to consider advocating more intensive physical activity for children. The providers also might want to investigate the use of Metformin for some of their pediatric patients.

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