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Obese Kids at Greater Risk of Developing Metabolic Diseases

Updated at: Apr 29, 2014
Written by: Ariba KhaliqPublished at: Apr 29, 2014
Obese Kids at Greater Risk of Developing Metabolic Diseases

A study covering children in five Indian metropolitan cities suggests that a child’s waist circumference can help predict metabolic diseases.

Indian parents usually are happy about their kid being “healthy” (read: fat). If the child is anything less than obese, the parents go hysterical about their child being weak and not eating properly. A new study shows how this perception can cost such children their metabolism.

obese childAbdominal obesity in children is directly related to metabolic diseases in them, including high blood pressure and diabetes. The study was carried out on 10,842 children in five metropolitan cities — Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Raipur and it identified cut-off values of Waist Circumference (WC) to screen children for Metabolic Syndrome (MS).

It has also developed age and sex specific reference curves for waist circumference for Indian children. MS results in increased risk for hypertension, type II diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, the study said. It also found that 3.3 per cent or 358 children out of a total sample size of 10,842 were hypertensive.

"The prevalence of childhood obesity is rising in developing countries, including India. Abdominal obesity is also on the rise and is associated with increased risk for metabolic syndrome," Archana Dayal Arya, paediatric endocrinologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and co-author of the study, said here Monday.

MS in children has been defined as the presence of three or more of the criteria like high triglyceride levels in blood, low HDL or good cholesterol, increased fasting blood glucose levels and high systolic blood pressure.

"It is shocking to see children as young as six years old with diseases like hypertension, diabetes mellitus and abnormalities in the lipid profile," the doctor said.

The study found that the risk factor for Indian children for developing MS was at 70th waist circumference (WC) percentile, which is significantly lower than international proposed WC cutoff of 90th percentile.

Dr Anuradha Khadilkar, consultant paediatrician in Jehangir Hospital, Pune and corresponding author of the study, said primary or essential hypertension, commonly seen in adults, is becoming common in children, who are obese or overweight.

The study will be published in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Paediatrics.

What are Metabolic Diseases?

Metabolic diseases are disorders that disrupt normal metabolism, the process of converting food to energy on a cellular level. Thousands of enzymes participating in numerous interdependent metabolic pathways carry out this process.

Metabolic diseases affect the ability of the cell to perform critical biochemical reactions that involve the processing or transport of proteins (amino acids), carbohydrates (sugars and starches), or lipids (fatty acids).

Source: Business Standard

Image Source: Getty Images

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