Issues and side effects of obesity in children

Pediatrician Dan Thomas, MD Gastroenterology & Nutrition, shares advice for parents on the significant health issues and side effects that children with obesity will face in life
Issues and Side Effects of Obesity in Children - Kids Health Advice
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Issues and side effects of obesity in children

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There are two significant problems that plague our children, our students, our children in the U.S. today and other places around the world. One problem I think everybody can maybe guess. It is obesity. It is being overweight. How does this relate to the G.I tract and why is it a digestive problem? Other than being a problem for the whole medical well being of the person, it causes two specific digestive problems that have to be dealt with and it is just better not to be obese in the first place. And that is non specific digestive complaints, bloating, irregular bowel movements, abdominal pain and even a little bit of heartburn or dispepsia. And we all know this is related to our diets or lack of exercise and excessive diets. We as a community, as a nation, need to deal with this. Twenty percent of our school age kids are morbidly obese. Twenty percent. The other problem digestive problem caused by obesity is fatty liver. And with that can cause inflammation of the liver and actually cirrhosis of the liver, scarring of the liver, which is a serious condition. Do people get older and have to get transplants with their liver because the liver is fatty and becomes cirrhotic and scarred? The answer is yes. Sad to say. Does that happen in pediatrics so often? No, but does it start in pediatrics and childhood? Yes. The answer is yes. As a nation, we need to come to grips with the problem. The other problem is chronic functional abdominal pain in children. This happens in 20% of school aged children. It keeps them out of school. They have to be picked up from school. It prevents family picnics, vacations and other outings. It is frustrating. It is functional. And I am also sad to say that this is in most cases related to a bad diet. Fast and fried foods, soda, frequent sweets, sweetened drinks, flavored drinks and not enough exercise. And so we have a nation as parents and healthcare givers an opportunity to be preventive here and just pay attention to our child´s exercise, make sure they do something every day and to their diets.

Pediatrician Dan Thomas, MD Gastroenterology & Nutrition, shares advice for parents on the significant health issues and side effects that children with obesity will face in life

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Dan Thomas, MD

Pediatrician, Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Dan Thomas is the Head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, and Medical Director of Liver and Small Bowel Transplantation at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Thomas presently serves on the Editorial Review Board of Pediatrics in Review and is on the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics. His primary clinical and academic interests include the care and study of children with congenital or acquired intestinal, pancreatic and hepatobiliary disorders.

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