Skyrocketing Pediatric Obesity Trend Sparks Concern
half of all children eat too much fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar,
recent federal findings indicate — a statistic that is prompting
major organizations in California to urge parents to scrutinize their
children's diets and physical activity.
percent of the nation's children are overweight or at risk of being
overweight, putting them at higher risk for development of
life-threatening and debilitating diseases such as heart disease,
diabetes and osteoarthritis of the knee," said Dr. Gary Arsham,
president of the American Diabetes Association's Western Region.
statistics also are of particular concern because up to 20 percent of
overweight children remain so throughout life, once again heightening
the risk for life-threatening diseases, according to Joan Stevie,
president of the Arthritis Foundation's Northern California chapter.
Arsham's organizations, along with the American Heart Association's
Western States Affiliate, and the California Broadcasters Association,
are calling attention to the increasing prevalence of childhood
overweight and obesity as part of their educational efforts surrounding
this month as Obesity Awareness Month in California.
"Obesity is a
disease with serious, adverse health effects for which all methods of
treatment should be pursued through diet, exercise and, under a
physician's direction, medication," Stevie added.
shown that being overweight during childhood is the leading cause of
pediatric hypertension. In addition, overweight children are at high
risk for developing long-term, chronic conditions, including
adult-onset diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes), coronary heart
disease, orthopedic disorders and respiratory disease.
Scales in Your Favor," a public-awareness campaign initiated by the
four organizations, is working to educate Californians about the links
between obesity and serious, treatment-intensive diseases, such as
heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoarthritis of the knee.