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July 20, 2009
Childhood obesity is one of the most topical and challenging social health care issues of our times. Bad eating habits and uncontrolled eating behavior are the main reasons of this huge global problem. According to the latest statistics, published by the International Obesity Task Force organization, it is estimated that there are more than 22 million today’s children under 5 are obese or overweight.
The same research shows that currently in the US, there are 13% of young children and teenagers put their good health and entire future life to a great risk by developing a habit of overeating and living their childhood years with the problem of extra weight. The problem is international and the experts say that such countries as Chile, Peru, Mexico, Morocco, Zambia and Egypt will soon face serious difficulties if the issue of childhood obesity will not receive necessary attention of public authorities.
One more alarming tendency in modern health care is a growing number of children with diabetes. A group of British specialists from the EarlyBird Diabetes Study at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth made a long-term research based on observing the condition of parents and children in 226 British families, aiming to find out the connections between childhood obesity and diabetes.
According to the data collected, about 35% of young girls whose mothers are obese were also obese. At that, 8% of the girls whose moms had extra weight were overweight as well. These findings made the experts suppose that obesity has certain roots in heredity, and the daughters of overweight or obese moms have 10 times more chances to develop obesity than the girls with normal weight moms (41% against 4%).
It is interesting that the boys seem also have the same tendency to inherit extra weight related problems from their dads. However, in boys this tendency is not as obvious as it is in girls. Only 18% of boys whose fathers are overweight also have extra weight, and 3% of boys whose fathers are in normal weight have extra weight.
The findings of this study, recently published in the International Journal of Obesity, evoked a vivid reaction in public health circles. Prof. Terry Wilkin, one of the leaders of the study, said that in order to fight against the problem of childhood obesity, “…we should be targeting the parents“. However, some experts are convinced that more researches on the issue are necessary. “‘If scientists want to challenge the existing body of knowledge on something as important as genetics and obesity it is critical that they use the biggest datasets available“, says Prof. S.O’Rahilly, of the University of Cambridge.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.