Childhood Obesity: What have we done!

Childhood Obesity: What have we done!

Childhood Obesity: What have we done!

There is a global public health crisis for obese children and adolescents. Obesity issues are prevalent in high and low income countries. World Health Organisation estimates that there are 42 million obese children under the age of 5.

Listed here are some of the many conditions that are directly and indirectly related to obesity:

#high blood pressure

#insulin resistance and diabetes

#sleep apnoea and asthma

# muscular skeletal pain

#polycystic ovarian syndrome

#non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

# early discrimination 

# low self-esteem and depression

Due to various factors that developed or programmed a child’s behaviour in unhealthy nutrition patterns and/or lack of activity, children are now being treated for obesity with medications and/or surgery. 

Gastric banding surgery showed greater weight loss results compared to lifestyle behaviour program (diet plans, increased activity, behaviour modification), in a report of  50 adolescents. Unfortunately, as with surgery, there is degree of risk. Less than 50% of children reported a range of post operative complications.

Over the last 10 years, a few medications have been approved for obesity in adults and then gradually for children. Some of the previously approved medications for obesity have been withdrawn from the market due to moderate to severe adverse reactions. 

Almost 2,500 children participated in either receiving medication, or a combination of medication, or a lifestyle program. Children that received medication, lost 3.9kg more compared to children receiving a lifestyle program. Serious side effects were reported more with children taking medications compared with children receiving the lifestyle program. Side effects included high heart rate, high blood pressure, constipation and diarrhoea. There was one report of suicide. 

Its never too late to change behaviours, it’s the patience and persistence that is challenging!

Listed below are websites that are thought provoking for nutritious ideas:

www.kidspot.com.au

www.raisingchildren.net.au

 

Ells LJ et al. 2015. Surgery for treatment of obesity in children and adolescents. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011740
Mead D et.al. 2016. Drug interventions for the treatment of obesity in children and adolescents. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012436

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