Wake Up Call for Obese Children

by Savitha C Muppala on Jul 15 2008 7:08 PM

High cholesterol level is a growing concern among American children, even those younger than eight years.

According to the centers for disease control and prevention, the number of overweight children has gone up three times in the last 30 years. In some children, the cholesterol level has crossed the danger mark, prompting the American Academy of Pediatrics to begin prescription of cholesterol reducing drugs for children.

The reasons for the growing rate of obesity in children is reduced physical activity in schools and at home, where children prefer to watch television or play games on the computer. According to government statistics, only 2% of high schools insist on physical education everyday. A report by Kaiser Family Foundation states that children watched food commercials much more than other advertisements. 44% of advertisements were for snacks, candy and fast food.

Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, and many other ailments associated with bad lifestyle. In some children, statins are being prescribed to clear up the clogged arteries. The side effects of the prolonged use of this drug for children are still unclear.

Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Boston's Children's Hospital, said that 99.9% of the problem is caused due to bad lifestyle and environment. It is time for society to wake up to the pitfalls of a sedentary life.