Five percent of US children ‘severely obese’

Severe obesity affects 5 percent of US children, the American Heart Association says. Credit: Getty Images
Severe obesity affects 5 percent of U.S. children, the American Heart Association says. Credit: Getty Images

About 5 percent of American children and teens are severely obese, the American Heart Association announced this week. The study can be found in AHA journal Circulation.

Lead author of the statement Dr. Aaron Kelly describes severe obesity as “a much more serious childhood disease than obesity.” Why? Affected children have higher rates of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

By the numbers, a severely obese child has a BMI that is at least 20 percent higher than the 95th percentile for his or her gender and age. A BMI score of 35 or higher automatically designates a child as severely obese. For reference, children at the 95th percentile weigh more than 95 percent of children their age and gender, and children between the 85th and 95th percentiles are overweight.

The main issue with severe obesity is that standard weight loss approaches are insufficient. While bariatric surgery is an option, Kelly warns it is a major step not necessarily suitable for children. “The step from lifestyle change and medication to surgery is unacceptably large because weight loss surgery isn’t appropriate for or available to all severely obese children,” he says.

Ultimately, the American Heart Association’s statement calls for “innovative approaches to fill the gap between lifestyle/medication and surgery.” There needs to be an effective middle ground between minimal exercises and major surgery, they say.

In the meantime, the AHA proposes “more research on bariatric surgery’s effects and safety,” the evaluation of lifestyle interventions (i.e., dietary and physical activity plans) and funding for intervention research.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.