Center to Help Tackle Child Obesity

Center to Help Tackle Child ObesityCenter to Help Tackle Child Obesity

 Given the significant increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents, especially in metropolises, setting up a center for prevention of obesity among children was a long-felt need. Therefore a specialized clinic will be established at the Children’s Medical Center Hospital affiliated to Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) in the near future, said Dr. Bahar Allah-Verdi, specialist in gastroenterology and liver diseases, at the 26th International Congress on Pediatric Diseases.

The center will comprise specialists in various fields including nutrition experts, physiotherapists (to train children in appropriate physical activity) and gastroenterology (a branch of medicine focused on the digestive system and its disorders) and liver diseases specialists, ISNA reported.

 Caloric Imbalances

Overweight and obesity are the result of ‘caloric imbalances’, too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed. Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to carry obesity into adulthood and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.  One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults.

 Obesity also can result in social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem in children.

Formula-fed infants have a greater risk of obesity. Also improper nutrition pattern including excessive consumption of processed food and junk food and inadequate use of diary, fruit and vegetables can increase the risk of obesity in adulthood. Children’s physical inactivity and too much dependence on computer games are among the other reasons for their inappropriate weight gain.