Extremely and moderately obese children face a higher of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)compared to children of normal weight.
GERD can lead to decreased quality of life, chronic respiratory conditions, and increased risk for cancer of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach) if it persists through adulthood.
Researchers used electronic health records to conduct a cross-sectional study of 690,321 children aged 2 - 19 years who were members of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California integrated health plan in 2007 and 2008.
"Childhood obesity, especially extreme childhood obesity, comes with a high risk for many serious health consequences such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The takeaway message of our study is that GERD now also is one of the conditions associated with childhood obesity," said study lead author Corinna Koebnick, a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California.
The study has been published online in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity.