Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Overweight Child Is Not Doomed for Life

Of course, we all know that there is a childhood obesity problem. In 2010, it was estimated that about "17 percent of American children ages 2-19" were overweight. Further, it is believed that if a person is overweight or obese during childhood, it will usually lead to overweight or obesity during adulthood. This in turn will lead to overweight and obesity related health problems. However, a recent study indicates that even if a person is overweight during childhood, losing the weight later can reduce obesity health-related problems.

The study was reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study consisted of an analysis of four other studies combining results gathered in the U.S., Australia United States, and Finland. The researchers concluded that "Overweight or obese children who were obese as adults had increased risks of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and carotid-artery atherosclerosis. The risks of these outcomes among overweight or obese children who became nonobese by adulthood were similar to those among persons who were never obese."

So, an individual is not doomed if he or she was obese during childhood. That person can take action to lose the excess weight, and endeavor to maintain a healthy weight. This will lessen the health problems associated with overweight and obesity during adulthood.
In addition to the health concerns indicated above, some experts believe that obesity is associated with an increased number of falls, as we get older. In fact, one study concluded "that obese older adults were anywhere from 12 per cent to 50 percent more likely to suffer a fall over two years than their normal-weight peers.”

Therefore, losing excess weight in adulthood after being overweight as a child is both possible and advisable. Primary care physicians, bariatricians, bariatric surgeons and other health care providers have it in their power to persuade and enable overweight adults -- including those who were overweight or obese during childhood -- to achieve a healthy weight.

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