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Obese New Zealand Children Show Signs of Serious Health Problems

by Shirley Johanna on September 19, 2016 at 7:15 PM
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Obese New Zealand Children Show Signs of Serious Health Problems

Obese children in New Zealand are showing signs from a young age that they are at risk of developing obesity-related problems such as diabetes, heart and liver disease, says a new study.

The authors of the study claim that this is the first study to show the prevalence of these risk factors in obese New Zealand children.


The study looked at the health and well-being of more than 200 obese children aged between four and 16 who took part in the Whanau Pakari program in Taranaki over 12 months.

The researchers found that 75% had signs of inflammation, increasing long-term heart disease risk, 40% had physical signs of high risk for type 2 diabetes, 47% had at least one abnormal liver function test, 11% had abnormal blood pressure and 50% snored four or more nights a week and suffered from sleep apnea.

"We knew these findings were likely to be present in these children given previous studies in other countries," said Yvonne Anderson, a pediatrician and co-author of the study.

"What was concerning was how common they were from a young age. These children are not just carrying a bit of extra weight - they also have health indicators that can be life-limiting if left un-addressed," says Dr Anderson.

According to the New Zealand Health Survey, an estimated 85,000 children aged 2-14 years are obese.

The Whanau Pakari program aimed to combat obesity by one-to-one family support, group sessions, physical fitness checks, and fun weekly activity sessions.

The program also included a dietitian, psychologists, physical activity advisor, healthy lifestyle coordinators and doctors for counseling and support.

The study is published in the Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health.

Source: Medindia

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