Overweight Teens at Risk for Heart Disease
The impact of excess weight on our health has been highlighted very recently with programs like The Weight of a Nation on HBO and has been touted in many studies. But Americans are growing inured to the constant barrage reminding us we are growing fatter and fatter. Many may feel there is little they can do because weight loss is difficult, especially with the pressures of work, family and for some, the stress of taking care of older loved ones. The need for comfort food increases under stress and stress increases appetite and weight gain by itself. The problem is that in families where the adults gain weight and are overweight or obese, there is a greater likelihood that their kids are following their parents' eating patterns. The fallout is huge to feather the point.
So regardless of how much life's trials may push our intentions to deal with our overweight and obesity to the back burner, the barrage will continue as will the cultural concern about it and none of this will nullify the fact that there is an undeniable relationship between overweight/obesity and compromised health. The question is, can we continue to ignore or rebel against this it when it comes to our children's well being?
A recent federal study released Monday in the journal Pediatrics is hammering us once again with some more alarming evidence. The findings indicate that half of the overweight teens in America have higher than normal blood pressure, cholesterol and/or blood sugar levels. You do know that these kids then, have an elevated risk for heart attacks and general cardiac problems. Does the red flag shoot up when you hear the words increased blood sugar levels? It should. Diabetes is on the rise amongst younger Americans like never before. The percentage of adolescents who were diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes has risen incredibly from 9 percent to 21 percent between 1999 and 2008, the study found.Continued on the next page