The obesity epidemic in our country is getting worse. Up to 21% of children ages 9-18 are either overweight or obese according to a study done in 2012 and reported by the CDC. 70% shown risk factors for heart disease. That's not the only problem they face.
Physical Toll : Children are now dealing with the same blood pressure and cholesterol issues we adults face. Strong medications are being prescribed in order to keep those issues under control. Even with these medications the children are still at risk.
Arthritis is another issue. While it may not be a problem during childhood it is likely to be a factor for it when they are adults, especially if they do not lose the weight and keep it off.
Educational Toll : A new study out of UCLA shows a link between childhood obesity and several learning and behavioral disorders. This includes ADHD and increased repetition of grade levels. The study has not determined whether the obesity caused the disorder or the other way around, but it's still there.
Emotional Toll : Most of us remember this from childhood. The heavier students were often picked on and called names. This can lead to depression. Today it's made worse by social media. The teasing and bullying can continue 24 hours a day. A study done by the University of Minnesota reports that 9% of the teens that worked with had tried suicide.
This is no longer about being fat. It's about saving the lives and emotional health of our children. If you are the parent of a child who is struggling with weight issues, talk to your doctor or pediatrician. There are things that can be done to safely bring the weight under control. There are also things that can be done to help with the emotional stress caused by this issue. If you are a young person who is struggling with this issue, talk to your parents and your doctor.