Obesity is a problem in our country and sadly it is effecting many children. There are numerous complications associated with obesity, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and depression. Due to this increased obesity occurrence in children, many have become dependent on medication to help control the severity of these health complications.
- In use of blood pressure medications, lipid-lowering agents, diabetes drugs, and antidepressants, prevalence for youths 15-19 was at least two times greater than in 10- to 14-year-olds and three times greater than in youngsters 5 to 9
- Overall, girls took more blood pressure medication, even though boys are more likely to have hypertension
- Children more than doubled their use of type 2 diabetes medications between 2002 and 2005, with girls 10-14 showing a 166% increase
- The largest increases in high blood pressure treatments were seen in teens 15 to 19
- The prevalence of diabetic prescription use among children more than doubled from 2002 to 2005
- Overweight and obese youngsters are about twice as likely as those of normal weight to develop diabetes
- The number of males 15 to 19 using a blood pressure drug increased 15.4%
- Females 15 to 19 on antidepressants increased 6.8%
Blood pressure, hypertension, and diabetes can all be linked to obesity, whereas the link between depression and obesity is still not clear (does obesity cause depression or vice versa). In any case, there is a terrible need for a diet overhaul in our youth population.
Prevention is the best way to control disease and it all starts in the home, by providing your children with healthy, nutritious options and leading by example. Educating your children on eating healthy will help equip them with the skills needed to make healthy food selections throughout their life. Too often in our society we just want to be prescribed a pill in order to make something go away, we don’t want to change our habits. Our outlook needs to change and we all need to take responsibilty for our health and our youths’ health. Trust me, eating healthy far more affordable then paying for medication and hospital or doctor visits.
November 10th, 2008