Diabetes Tops Child Obesity's Health Risks

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children who weigh too much face a broad array of health problems, with type 2 diabetes leading the list.

Closely linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes was once so rare among children that it was called adult onset diabetes. According to the AAP Executive Committee on Endocrinology and doctors nationwide, health professionals are seeing many 12- and 13-year-olds with type 2 diabetes.

Doctors estimate that at least half of overweight kids will grow up to be overweight adults. Once they've been heavy for many years, overweight children and adolescents are at risk for diseases that, until recently, typically affected people older than 40. 

The average age of kids being treated in obesity clinics is about 12. When these kids grow up and into their most productive years, many of them will be on disability from their obesity and related diseases like diabetes.

Childhood ailments linked with obesity include:

  • Diabetes

  • High cholesterol and other blood fats

  • High blood pressure

  • Gallbladder disease

  • Fatty liver disease

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Kidney problems from diabetes

  • Bone fractures and alignment problems

  • Psychological problems

  • Social and potential employment problems

  • Poor sleep due to airway blockage, also called obstructive sleep apnea 

 If you are concerned about your child's weight, and certainly before starting your child on any type of diet, be certain to talk with your pediatrician.