Overweight or Obesity in Children?

Overweight or Obesity in Children?

Obesity is defined as an abnormal condition, in which there’s an excessive accumulation of fat in the body. A person is considered obese when their Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 30, but if it exceeds 35 they are considered morbidly obese. People with a BMI of 25 to 30 are overweight.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

ResultWeight Prevalence
Less than 18.5Weight below normal
18.5-25Normal Weight
More than 35Severe or morbid obesity

Overweight and obesity are a serious public health problem

Several studies recently done in Europe and the United States have shown how overweight and obesity have increased dramatically in children in recent times, increasing the incidence of new Type 2 Diabetes cases and greater risks of developing premature cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents.

Excess fat accumulated in our body leads to insulin resistance, that is, if a person exceeds their normal weight, they’ll also increase their risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is also known as “adult onset diabetes” because it only occurs in adults, who are usually over 40 years of age, i.e., until a few years ago this type of Diabetes didn’t occur in children and young people. Currently, a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis in children and youth is becoming increasingly common and the numbers tend to increase every day, in greater proportions.

The STOPP-T2D (Studies to Treat or Prevent Pediatric Type 2 Diabetes) which was conducted by the Center for Endocrinology and Diabetes of the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, and in which 1,700 young people between the ages of 13 and 14 participated from several schools in California, Texas and North Carolina, showed truly alarming results. 49.3% were overweight or obese and 40.2% had prediabetes, and even worse, this study diagnosed some cases of Diabetes, Hyperinsulinemia, Hypertension and high Cholesterol.

Maintaining a normal body weight is essential to reduce the risks of developing Type 2 Diabetes and other diseases associated with overweight and obesity.

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Excess weight, Obesity and Diabetes in Children