Beyond the gloomy predictions of shorter life spans, kids living with a weight problem today already face significant troubles, says Walt Larimore, M.D., co-author of SuperSized Kids.
Obese children suffer from serious medical problems that, until recently, occurred only in adults - high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, liver damage and kidney disease. They're at greater risk of asthma, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and metabolic syndrome. And overweight teens have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight adults.
"Obesity significantly impairs quality of life right now - in the present," Larimore says. "Doctors like me are seeing kids with problems that in the past were only seen in older adults. Research shows severely obese children and adolescents have a similar quality of life to that of pediatric cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy."
- Sandra Whitehead