Health Risks Now
Childhood obesity can have a harmful effect on the body in a variety of ways. Obese children are more likely to have:
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In one study, 70 percent of obese children had at least one CVD risk factor, while 39 percent had two or more.
- Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
- Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea and asthma
- Joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort
- Fatty liver disease, gallstones and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn).
- Obese children and adolescents have a greater risk of social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self-esteem, which can continue into adulthood.
Health Risks Later
- Obese children are more likely to become obese adults. Adult obesity is associated with a number of serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
- If children are overweight, obesity in adulthood is likely to be more severe.
Medical weight management programs and bariatric surgery may be recommended to reverse these life-altering and life-threatening health conditions and to help your adolescent get started on the path to lifelong health.