Obese Girls' Future
How many of us looked at our daughters and thought "my child is cute and roly-poly like a teddy bear" not knowing the results of all the burgers, pizzas, ice-creams and chocolates your little girl has been eating? Worse still, how many of us can picture our cute kids suffering with life-long diseases like diabetes Type 2 and polycystic ovary syndrome?
If your child is very active there isn't much to worry about, the excess calories get used up. But if she is a "quiet girl" who prefers to play video games, surf the net or watch TV while all the time eating large bags of chips, gummies or other unhealthy foods, then there is cause for concern. Did you know that 30% American children are obese. And, research indicates that there are other life-threatening dangers that might haunt in the future. So if you were thinking of that physical program her school was talking about, think no more, you have to act now for the sake of your child.
Childhood Obesity leads to Serious Problems
Obesity is a result of life-style. So if your child's life-style is unhealthy, it could lead to obesity and its associated medical complications regardless of age. Also, the lifestyle gets carried into adulthood, so obese children often do not shed the excess weight and end up being obese adults. They are prone to higher risk from various disorders like sleep apnea, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, orthopedic problems, asthma, liver problems, skin disorders and infertility.
Further complication can arise at school because obese children are more likely to be verbally abused by their classmates leading to psychiatric problems, low self esteem, depression and withdrawal symptoms. In essence, the child’s quality of life is severely affected, causing an early death.
Lurking Threat: Diabetes Type 2
In the United States, young kids and teenagers who are overweight are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes which is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. But before we discuss type 2 diabetes, let us first understand diabetes and why some people suffer from it. Diabetes is a condition that affects the use of glucose by the body. After a meal, the glucose levels in the blood rise to trigger the pancreas to make insulin and release it into the bloodstream. Insulin, which is a hormone, allows the glucose to enter into the cells. it is the key to open the doors to the cells. In people with diabetes, the body is either unable to make insulin or use all of it.
In people with diabetes type 2, the body produces insulin but is unable to use all of it as it should. This causes the glucose levels in the bloodstream to increase because the glucose cannot enter the cells and do the work of supplying energy to the body. This condition is known as “insulin resistance”. In such a situation, the pancreas produces even more insulin to reduce the blood sugar level. The excess glucose in the bloodstream is sent to the liver, where it is converted into fat and stored throughout the body. The process causes the person to gain fat weight and may ultimately lead to obesity.
Diabetes Type 2 – Is your Girl at Risk?
Simple put: If your child is obese then, yes! True, diabetes type 2 is also caused by genetic factors but it is primarily a lifestyle disease. In an overweight person, it is difficult for the cells to respond to insulin due to the excess fat and this leads to insulin resistance. At one time, diabetes type 2 affected only overweight adults, but today, even young children suffer from the disease. Given the link between obesity and insulin resistance, it is not surprising that obesity and diabetes are linked.
The Domino effect: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Female Infertility
Unhealthy lifestyle leads to obesity leads to diabetes Type 2 leads to polycystic ovary syndrome leads to female infertility. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder portrayed by the production of excess male hormones (like testosterone) in girls.
Type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome have one common cause – insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is often indicated in women suffering from PCOS and obesity is a major contributing factor. The symptoms of PCOS mainly comprise of menstrual irregularities, skin problems like brown patches and acne, excessive facial and body hair, reduced sex drive and female baldness.
Insulin resistance causes polycystic ovary syndrome due to rise in the insulin levels in the blood stream. Excess insulin induces the ovaries to produce more male hormones which might prevent the release of the egg from the ovaries each month. This leads to female infertility. High level of insulin in the blood increases the conversion of male hormones or androgens to female hormones or estrogens, thus causing an imbalance between the two. This imbalance may result in the formation of ovarian cysts and may also cause further weight gain.
Treating Childhood Obesityand Encourage Healthy Habits in your Child
Keep your child busy, enroll her in the school physical program, regulate the time by all means but encourage her to go out and play. She needs to be physically active.
Childhood obesity obviously increases a child’s risk for contracting serious health problems like type 2 diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome in young girls leading to infertility. Moreover, obese children are more likely to struggle with weight problems even as adults. Parents must therefore take steps to help their children maintain their weight within the healthy range.
If your child is obese today, by the time she reaches adulthood she has every chance of being diagnosed with diabetes type 2 and ultimately with Polycystic ovary syndrome. Help Improve Her Future!