Recently in Childhood Obesity Category

obesity surgery Weight loss surgery--more specifically referred to as bariatric surgery and gastric bypass surgery --has been the big buzz word in treating morbidly obese adults for several years now. But can it help--or would it harm--severely overweight teens?

Although one of these popular procedures, gastric banding -- or “lap banding,” as it is commonly known-- has been an accepted practice in controlling weight in obese adults since 2001, the Food and Drug Administration has been reluctant to approve it for the treatment of childhood obesity.

childhood obesityNEW YORK (AP) -- As the popularity of stomach surgery has skyrocketed among obese adults, a growing number of doctors are asking, "Why not children, too?"

For decades, the number of kids trying weight-loss surgery has been tiny. The operations themselves were risky, with a death rate of about 1 in 50. Children rarely got that fat, and when they did, pediatricians hesitated to put the developing bodies under the knife. Only 350 U.S. kids had such an operation in 2004, according to federal statistics.

But improvements in surgical technique and huge increases in the number of dangerously obese children have begun fueling a change of heart.

omega3 acidsA lack of healthy fats can actually cause children to become overweight, according to a study published online by the Swedish Research Council.

Researchers based at the Sahlgrenska Academy at Goteborg University studied the lifestyle, dietary habits and insulin levels of a group of four-year-old children, and correlated these factors with measurements of Body Mass Index (BMI).

According to the BMI measurements, 23 percent of the children were overweight and another 2 percent were obese. Surprisingly, however, the children with the healthier BMIs actually had higher fat intake than the overweight children. The difference was that the less overweight children were consuming more unsaturated fats, omega-3s in particular.

Sweet Drinks Put Kids' Health at Risk

soda drinkDrinking lots of soda and juice drinks may put kids' health at risk -- leading to poor health and teen obesity as young as age 13, a U.S. study shows.

The findings come from a study of 154 girls seen every two years since age 5. Researchers included Alison K. Ventura, Leann L. Birch, PhD, and Eric Loken, PhD, of Pennsylvania State University.

By age 13, 14% of the girls studied already showed high risk of developing metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of ominous risk factors that indicate a person could be headed toward heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes.

These girls were at or near the danger level for three metabolic syndrome risk factors -- big waistline, high blood pressure, and a low level of good HDL cholesterol.

Obesity No.1 Kids' Health Issue: Survey

surveyHealthDay News -- Being overweight or obese is the most important health issue facing children in the United States, a new survey finds.

The nationwide telephone survey of 800 adults, conducted in September, found 27 percent of respondents saying obesity was the top health issue for children, followed by lack of health care/insurance (16 percent) and nutrition/unhealthy diet (9 percent).

Released Dec. 13 by Research!America and The Endocrine Society, the poll also found that 52 percent of respondents believe obesity is a public health issue that society should help solve, while 46 percent feel it's a private issue that people should take care of on their own.

The survey showed that responsibility for helping to address the obesity issue in the United States lies to some or a great extent with parents (98 percent), individuals (96 percent), schools (87 percent), health care providers (84 percent), the food industry (81 percent), and government (67 percent).

home workoutFear of fitness and weight loss failure are major contributors to the worldwide obesity epidemic. Simple home workouts can be instrumental in fighting fat and poor fitness levels.

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL -- According to official figures from a 2006 report compiled by The Trust for America's Health, the adult obesity rate rose from 15 percent in 1980 to 32 percent in 2004. Combine that with the number of Americans who are overweight but not obese, and the figure stands at 64 percent. And the childhood obesity rate more than tripled between 1980 and 2004, from 5 percent to 17 percent.

 "I don't have enough time for exercise." "I'm too out of shape to workout." "I don't know what to do." "I'm too afraid to ask the fitness instructors." "The gym is too crowded." "The health club members are rude." "I don't have the willpower." These are some of the top excuses revealed by a 2004 survey conducted by the American Council on Exercise of San Diego.

60 million obese children in China?

chinese obese child (c) AFP BEIJING - Rising affluence has made about 60 million Chinese — equal to the population of France — obese, state media said on Monday.

Xinhua News Agency quoted Pan Beilei, a deputy director with the government-affiliated State Food and Nutrition Consultant Committee, as saying that worsening diets had led to health problems, including obesity.

"An increasing number of Chinese are eating more fat and junk food but less grains and vegetables, leading to a high number of cases of high blood pressure and diabetes," Pan was quoted as telling a conference on food consumption and health in Beijing.

Kids' Belly Fat Growing Fast

obese childPotbellies are becoming all too common among children, according to a new study that shows abdominal obesity in kids has increased by more than 65% in recent years.

Researchers say the findings are especially troubling because belly fat is now considered a better predictor of heart diseaseheart disease and diabetesdiabetes risk than the more commonly used body mass index (BMI, a ratio of weight in relationship to height).

It's the first national study to document the increase in children's waistlines; it shows abdominal obesity increased by 65% among boys and nearly 70% among girls from 1988 to 2004.

Researchers say the findings paint a bleak picture for these children, who have a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. But they say the good news is that it's not too late for children with extra belly fat to do something to lower their health risk.