Childhood obesity epidemic . . . part 2

More from Levine and Stein of the Washington Post.   Read it and tell me if I’m crazy for saying in my last post that raising an obese child (by apathetically feeding him nonstop junk food) doesn’t qualify as abuse.   I realize that my words are strong, but I stand by them.

At least one study suggests obese children might tend toward lower IQs and be more likely to have brain lesions similar to Alzheimer’s patients.   Fat deposits in the chest wall push against the lungs and diaphragm, making it harder for the lungs to expand and bring in oxygen.   An obese child can feel out of breath while standing still, and obese children are twice as likely to develop asthma.

Excessive weight on children’s bone growth plates cause syndromes like Blount’s Disease and slipped capital femoral epiphysis, because bone and cartilage are not designed to support abnormal weight.   Legs bow and weak bones fracture and disintegrate.

Obese girls menstruate early, causing growth to stop early.   Obese teen girls have two to three times the risk of dying by middle age compared to normal-weight teens.   Liver disease now occurs in a third of obese children, causing abdominal pain, infection, and fatigue.   These kids are at high risk for cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure, and liver cancer.

Obese people’s gallbladders don’t function normally, and hospitalizations for gallbladder disease have tripled in children 6 to 17, in just 20 years.   The pancreas doesn’t work normally in obese children, either, and the massive insulin swings eventually cause diabetes.   Pediatric endocrinologist says, “Once you get Type 2 diabetes, figure you have 20 more years of life and then you are dead.   So if you get it at 15, you’ll be dead at 35.”

One pound of fat is about the size of a coffee mug.   Imagine that an obese child who is 50 lbs. overweight has 50 coffee mugs of greasy fat he has to carry around every day.   Go pick up a 50 lb. bag of rice or wheat and carry it around a while.   That’s what an obese child deals with 24/7.   The number of fat cells you have is determined by late adolescence, and although the child can shrink fat cells, they never go away.

Obese children are 37 times as likely to have high blood pressure, and more and more of them are being prescribed drugs to prevent heart attack and stroke.   Many will be on the drugs FOR LIFE.