Obesity Essay

2756 words - 12 pages

Obesity is a public health issue that is spreading rapidly. Obesity is most blatantlyvisible yet the most neglected in the realm of public health concerns. Obesity is a complex condition that affects all ages and does not discriminate in choosing its victims. Obesity is not only responsible for many disparities in our nation's health status but it can also cause serious social and psychological problems. In 1995 there were approximately 200 million obese adults and nearly 18 million children classified as overweight worldwide. (WHO 2003) Until recently, type 2 diabetes mellitus was thought to be a rare occurrence in children and adolescents. During the mid-1990s, investigators began to ...view middle of the document...

According to the American Heart Association the metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors that include:•Central Obesity ( excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen)•Atherogenic dyslipidemia ( blood fat disorders - mainly high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol - that aids plaque buildups in artery walls)•Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (the body can't properly use insulin or blood sugar•Prothrombotic state ( high fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor (-1) in the blood)•Raised blood pressure (130/85 mmHg or higher)•Proinflammatory state ( elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in the blood)The metabolic syndrome is brought on by being overweight or suffering from obesity, a lack of physical activity and other genetic factors. Individuals having this disorder are at an increased risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Metabolic Syndrome has long been a concern for adults but has rapidly become a public health issue for children with the alarming number of children that are overweight and now being diagnosis with type 2 diabetes.Methods and Materials:In a hospital based cohort of children with diabetes in France, 326 out of 382 patients had autoimmune type 1 diabetes, but four obese and four lean children were classified as having type 2 diabetes. In all ethnic groups in the USA, the incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased substantially in recent years and in some populations it is now the predominant form of diabetes in children and adolescents. Varying biological responses to overweight in different racial or ethnic groups contribute in different ways to the development of type 2 diabetes in adolescents. Another important discovery was that white children in central Europe having type 2 diabetes is associated with significant obesity and is only very rarely diagnosed in lean subjects. However, in the USA, children as young as 8 years of age are now being diagnosed with the disease.Obesity in kids is an epidemic in the United States. The number of children who are overweight has doubled in the last two to three decades; currently one child in every five children is overweight. The increase is evident in both children and adolescents, and in all age, race and gender groups. (NIH 2002) There are many causes of obesity. Both genetic factors and environmental factors play a role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Several rare mutations explain less than 5% of all cases of type 2 diabetes. African-American children are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes at the same degree of adiposity, while Mexican-American may be more likely to develop syndrome X due to greater obesity-related hyperinsulinaemia and dyslipidsemia. Pancreatic beta-and alpha-cell dysfunctions have been described in children with type 2 diabetes. For example, in 24 patients with type 2 diabetes, relative hypoinsulinaemia and hyperglucagonaemia were found when compared with...

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