Although obesity is increasing in direct proportion to age, more and more cases of childhood obesity are seen. The reason is that while the lifestyle changes of adults have occurred slowly over many decades, children have accelerated in a short time. Until recently, children played in parks or in co
Although obesity is increasing in direct proportion to age, more and more cases of childhood obesity are seen. The reason is that while the lifestyle changes of adults have occurred slowly over many decades, children have accelerated in a short time.
Until recently, children played in parks or in courtyards, and currently spend those same hours in front of the computer, the video game console or watching television. At the same time, their diet has been transformed and 'Americanizing', in the main meals as well as in the mid-morning lunch or in the snack. The traditional sandwich has been replaced by the pastry.
Childhood obesity and diabetes: the epidemic of the 21st century
Obesity and diabetes are two diseases that go together, so much so that in the last decades of the last century it was already observed that the lifestyle of affluent societies kept a direct relationship with the figures of overweight people.
And, is that the human species is not programmed for what is meant by Western lifestyle: diet rich in fat, food 'junk', low consumption of fruits, vegetables, and legumes, along with physical activity which, each time, is more scarce.
The clear consequence is obesity and the diseases that are associated with it, with a prominent place for diabetes. Both come together under the denomination "diabesidad", that already is considered like the epidemic of century XXI.
Two opposite poles: hunger and obesity among children
Although in many parts of the planet el hunger todavía has not yet been eradicated and, shamefully, many children and adults (around 40 million each year) die or have inadequate development because they do not have enough food to cover their needs, there is also an unstoppable tendency to face the opposite phenomenon, that of obesity, including childhood. Diabetes is already diagnosed at 8 years of age Thus, in countries where obesity was not a problem until recently, there have been
: between 1978 and 1995 obesity in children under 5 years old multiplied by fourin countries like Egypt. In Japan there were already 8 percent of obese children in 1992. In this same country, the number of children with type 2 diabetes, whose increase is parallel to that of obesity, had almost doubled between the period 1976-1980 and the from 1991-1995. If traditionally type 2 diabetes, which in 85 percent of cases occurs in obese, was considered an adult disease, nowadays it is being diagnosed at such early ages as 8 years. A work published a few months ago has calculated that a child born in the year 2000, in the United States, has a 32.8 percent chance of being diabetic throughout his life, rising to 38.5 percent in the case of girls. Obviously, it is a priority to carry out a awareness of the magnitude of the problem both on the part of governments and of society as a whole. The sooner you act, especially in children, the more benefits you will get.
Dr. José Ramón Calle
. Specialist in Endocrinology. Hospital Clínico de Madrid.
Medical Advisor of the Diabetes Foundation.Collaborator of GuiaInfantil.com