The health risks of being overweight for children may be greater than previously thought! – Dr. Fitim Rexhepi

Weight gain in CHILDREN must not be ignored!

More or less, we are all aware that obesity is a problem from a health aspect, but it is also reflected negatively in sociological, psychological terms, etc. Therefore, a serious approach is needed, ie never to underestimate the existing problem, as is often the case in reality. Perhaps it is even more important to take education and prevention seriously, especially in the earliest period, ie the periods of childhood and adolescence.

Why is that so important?

In general, the essence of the problem with weight is the wrong diet, but also bad life habits, in general. A very important factor in the formation of habits is education. We know that most important habits are formed at an early age, and many of them remain permanent. Among such habits are those that are bad in terms of nutrition. The health risks of being overweight for children may be greater than previously thought. Being overweight in adults also means a much higher risk of heart disease. The effect on children is not yet fully understood, but there is growing evidence to suggest a similar relationship.  The topics of research were body weight and its relationship with one or more risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.).

Results and conclusions

Compared with children of normal body weight, obese children had elevated blood pressure and impaired lipid profile (elevated blood fat). The meta-analysis also found a significant increase in left ventricular mass (thickening of the heart muscle) in the majority of obese children, which is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Action is needed!

The problem of overweight and obesity is already epidemic in Macedonia. Therefore, awareness of this problem should grow, as well as education about what is meant by a healthy diet and lifestyle. Only in that way, it will significantly contribute to solving and preventing the problem of body weight in children (and adults) and the listed problems related to it. In that direction, the state health and education system should take more measures. Childhood and adolescence are the periods in which most life habits are formed, so more conscious and educated parents may be a key link for better public health.

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