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Obesity: How Bad Is It?

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

Parenthood.com Resources:

  • Still Fighting Fat: What What it Will Take to Win the War on Childhood Obesity
  • Why Finding Good Food is So Difficult
  • A Nation of Couch Potatoes?
  • Family Mealtime's Disappearing Act
  • How Parents Can Help
  • 7 Savory (& Healthy) Recipes
  • Carbs or Fat: Which is Worse?
  • How Many Calories Did You Burn Today?
  • The Truth About Supersized Portions
  • Body Mass Index Calculator
  • Resources
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