Researchers at UCLA set out to study the cost of childhood obesity, a condition, which unfortunately has become more and more common in the U.S. Overweight children are more likely to suffer from weight related illnesses such as heart disease, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes than children who maintain a healthy body weight. According to an article in Newswise , which reported on the study, pediatric obesity costs the United States an estimated $3 billion per year.
The study also brought to light current health problems an overweight child is likely to suffer from. People normally think of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure as conditions that happen later in life, but, researchers say that children who are morbidly obese are more likely to currently be suffering from depression, gastrointestinal distress like GERD and musculoskeletal problems. Overweight children are also more likely to suffer from sleep apnea which has been shown to increase aggression and bullying behaviors in children.
The study also showed that intervening when the child is young, before health problems get worse and develop into heart disease etc. . . , is more cost effective that treating weight related illnesses later. That intervention, they say, should involve an entire medical team and consist of a minimum 75 hours of treatment. For more information read:
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