• CHILDHOOD OBESITY Parents turn a blind eye

  • NUTRITION Being overweight in children is a thing for the poor

The data is devastating.

One-third of

American children

are overweight


This August 4, a study published in

PLOS Digital Health

by Elizabeth Campbell at Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States), suggests that childhood obesity may be associated with up to

eight medical conditions

that are common in children diagnosed with overweight.

Specifically, these diseases are

asthma, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory and sleep disorders, inflammatory skin

conditions, seizure disorders, gastrointestinal/genitourinary symptoms, and neurodevelopmental disorders and psychological conditions.


The report was done retrospectively, accessing the electronic health records of

49,694 pediatric patients diagnosed with obesity at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


They used a pattern algorithm on common conditions related to the incidence of pediatric obesity and compared them to a control group with a healthy body mass index.

Like all observational studies, it has several limitations, including the possibility of a false discovery rate, as well as an arbitrary prevalence threshold of 10% for classifying "high prevalence" conditions.

Future studies would

be needed

to identify the factors involved in the associations between pediatric obesity and the


identified in the study.

However, the correlation between greater obesity and more simultaneous medical conditions in the same agent is interesting.


If the trend continues, the forecast is to reach 70 million overweight minors in 2025. Shutterstock

According to the authors, "Obesity is a complex and socially significant health problem that may differentially affect different clinical and demographic subtypes of pediatric patients."

Lumping all types of overweight and obesity into one clinical condition "may mask associations between risk factors and specific subtypes of obesity, which has implications for improving the prevention, recognition, and treatment of


obesity ."

These findings may support the work of researchers and public health professionals seeking

to address the social disparities component of the obesity epidemic


Electronic health records represent valuable sources of data for use in research.

So the researchers hope that these findings not only add to ongoing work combating widespread childhood obesity, but also to methodological advances in the use of large complex data sets in clinical research.


The data, despite focusing on the United States, could easily be extrapolated to Spain, where we have 40% excess weight in children, between the ages of six and nine, and

most of that percentage will be maintained throughout their lives.

Of these boys and girls, 23.3% are overweight and 17.3% are obese.

All of them would have a high probability, based on the study, of developing these eight diseases mentioned.

According to the WHO, obesity and overweight have reached

epidemic levels worldwide


More than 1.9 billion adults are overweight.

41 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese in 2016, and more than 340 million children and adolescents (ages 5 to 19) were overweight or obese.

If current trends continue, the forecast is to reach

70 million minors who are overweight or obese in 2025.

Conforms to The Trust Project criteria

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