New research has concluded that most obese kids between the ages of 12 and 14 have metabolic syndrome; a major predictor of type-2 diabetes and heart disease. WebMD is on it:
"If a kid is age 8 with metabolic syndrome, it will take 10 years or less for that child to become a type 2 diabetic or develop heart disease," Sarah E. Messiah, PhD, MPH tells WebMD. "So as these kids enter adulthood, they could be faced with an entire life of chronic disease."And these statistics are even more frightening. Back to the report:
Obese kids aren't dropping dead in their teens, but by then, many have serious heart problems, says John K. Stevens Jr., MD, a cardiologist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Sibley Heart Center.
Stevens sees more and more teens with dangerously high blood pressure that is reshaping their hearts. He sees teens with dangerously high levels of blood fats. He sees teens with plaque streaking the walls of their arteries. And he sees teens far down the road toward type 2 diabetes, a major risk factor for heart disease.
"I am very fearful that in the next 10 to 20 years we will have an explosion of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease as these very young, very obese kids become 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds," Stevens tells WebMD.
The problem isn't a heart disease epidemic. It's a child obesity epidemic, Stevens says - and Messiah's numbers lead to the same conclusion.
- About 17% of boys and girls ages 8 to 11 and 12 to 14 are overweight or obese.
- Between 6.5% and 9.5% of overweight 8- to 11-year-olds have metabolic syndrome, depending on how the data are adjusted to account for sex, age, and ethnicity.
- Between 26.3% and 52.4% of overweight 12- to 14-year olds have metabolic syndrome.