Can You Die From Childhood Obesity & How Dangerous Is It?

Childhood obesity is a condition characterized by increased body mass index in the child according to his height. A better measure for the weight height ratio is a ponderal index used in smaller age groups. It is usually presented to a pediatrician or family doctor during regular checkups and diagnosis is based on clinical evaluation as well as data comparison.

Can You Die From Childhood Obesity?

The effect of childhood obesity on the death rate among the children was also studied and was found to be higher in obese children. According to a study conducted, the incidence of premature death in obese children when compared to non-obese children was 1.31 which is higher. The incidence was 1.90 when comparing deaths from endogenous causes in the same group of children. The glucose levels after the 75-gram glucose intake were measured among the obese and non-obese children and were found to be more elevated among children suffering from childhood obesity. The children belonging to the highest quartile of the glucose index verb form to have 73% more risk to die from the condition than the other group of children. The incidence of death and its association with childhood cholesterol levels was not significantly observed. High blood pressure levels among obese children were more associated with the increase in death rate in endogenous causes. [2] This result clearly showed that the incidence of premature death is affected by childhood obesity and is clearly linked to it. It is regrettable but provable to say that a child can also die from childhood obesity and its complications if not taken care of properly.

How Dangerous Is Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity is a dangerous condition which not only increases the risk of various medical conditions but also decreases their age of presentation to a younger age group. Children suffering from childhood obesity are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases and events, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome[1] etc. It simply can start from causing diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, high lipid profiles like cholesterol which were once considered as the problems of adults. The cardiovascular diseases expected above the age of 55 years were found to be more associated with children who suffered from childhood obesity and also the age dropped down to less than 55 years.

Apart from causing cardiovascular diseases, it also can cause bronchial asthma because the children are more likely to be sensitive to atopy if are obese. It can also significantly add to the morbidity suffered among such children. Due to higher weight, they also can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea which occurs due to hypertrophy of the soft palate to compensate for the lesser air intake possible in such children. It is characterized by the habit of snoring during sleeping, improper sleeping pattern, daytime sleepiness, lethargic attitude, etc.

Psychological conditions are also linked with childhood obesity like depression, low self-esteem, poor self-confidence and many more. Although these do not increase the mortality directly they can propel the child to plan for suicide etc.

Conclusion

Childhood obesity is a very dangerous condition and should not be ignored. It can cause various medical and psychological problems which may affect the life of the child in an adverse manner. It is also found that obese children are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular events like acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, heart attacks, stroke etc. than the non-obese children. The age of presentation also becomes earlier in such children. These dangerous complications not only increase the morbidity but also have been associated with an increase in the rate of mortality among obese children as proved by many studies. Having such complications does not mean that it is not treatable. It is very much curable with following only simple steps of diet management and outdoor activities but requires a lot of cooperation from the parents as well.

Regular follow-up should be maintained to monitor the progress of the treatment.

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