Dutch researchers have found that 2/3 of severely obese children (aged 2–18 yrs) have been diagnosed with at least one cardiovascular risk factor:
- 56% of the kids had hypertension,
- 14% had high blood glucose,
- 0.7% had type 2 diabetes,
- 54% had low HDL-cholesterol
Even scarier….62% of severely obese children aged ≤12 years already had one or more cardiovascular risk factors.
- The definition of severe obesity started at a body mass index (BMI) of 20.5 for a 2 year old, at 31 for a 12 year old, and at 35 for an 18 year old.
- Only one child’s obesity was attributable to medical rather than lifestyle factors.
- Nearly one in three severely obese children came from one parent families.
“The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose in these children is worrying, considering the increasing prevalence worldwide of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents,” write the authors. “Likewise, the high prevalence of hypertension and abnormal lipids may lead to cardiovascular disease in young adulthood,” they add. And they conclude: “Internationally accepted criteria for defining childhood obesity and guidelines for early detection and treatment of severe childhood obesity and underlying ill health are urgently needed.”
Childhood obesity isn’t cute… and parents who enable it are doing their kids a HUGE disservice.