Monday, July 15, 2013

Childhood Obesity and What We Are Learning

Childhood obesity has received a lot of attention recently. That's because reducing childhood obesity will lower the number of adults with obesity, since obesity in childhood increases the chances of obesity in adulthood. And long term obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, and heart problems. In fact, Obese children are ‘more likely to have heart attack or stroke in adulthood...'

New research is giving us more insight to the disease. For example, by the time a baby is two years old, his or her future risk of obesity can be predicted. With this information, parents can be counseled on what to do to prevent the child's obesity in later years.

Also, researchers are finding that "Obese mothers tend to have kids who become obese." And "provocative research suggests weight-loss surgery may help break that unhealthy cycle in an unexpected way — by affecting how their children’s genes behave." The child's environment is changed, before birth, so that his or her genes express themselves in a way to reduce the chance of obesity in the child.

To address childhood obesity, attention is being given to methods that can motivate children to follow a healthy diet and increase physical activity. And recent research has shown that some video games can actually provide an avenue for kids to get more exercise.

Indeed, new research indicates that  'a certain kind of video game: active videogames, also known as exergames, are a form of exercise and rely on technology to track the body's movement and reaction.' This form of exercise could give parents and healthcare providers another tool to use in curbing childhood obesity.

At any rate, knowing how to predict the chances of childhood obesity and how to prevent and treat childhood obesity will reduce obesity during adulthood. This information can put more tools in the hand of healthcare providers. This information can eventually help lower healthcare costs.

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