Scales help to determine the exact number of pounds, but overall health depends on other factors such as physical activity, diet and the amount of time spent in front of TV or computer. This was reported in a study done at the University of Alberta published in the may issue of the journal Diabetes Care.
A study involving 181 children with obesity aged 8-17 years, showed that only a third of them are healthy from a metabolic point of view. In other words, in the near future, only 30% of these children are not at risk of development of insulin resistance (precursor of diabetes mellitus type 2), high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as other diseases associated with excess weight.
"The problem is not the amount of body fat, even for children suffering from obesity," explained Geoff ball, senior author and associate Professor of Pediatrics from faculty of medicine and dentistry, and clinical Director of the pediatric center at children's hospital Stollery, clinics for the treatment of excess weight. "Lifestyle – activity level and the quality of food is what primarily determines the level of health, regardless of weight."
PhD in nutrition and metabolism, ball and his team studied clinical data within 5 years: age and composition of the bodies of obese children, lifestyle factors (physical activity and nutrition), as well as relevant clinical parameters such as insulin resistance, blood pressure, levels of fat and sugar in the blood.
Although numerous studies have shown that patients who are obese can be metabolically healthy, few have studied children. Metabolically healthy children were not only more physically active, they were also younger, lower and lighter than their peers with metabolic disorders. They spent less time in front of a TV, computer or game console, and consumed fewer calories, including fatty foods and meat.
The study in addition used traditional methods of determining the degree of obesity such as body mass index, calculated based on height and weight man, who, however, according to Boll, to capture the full picture of health status.
"Obesity is a complex disease with lots of causes and consequences. However, not all threaten the same consequences," he said. "People with diabetes type 2 may have less fat, the more obese patients not suffering from diabetes. There is significant variability between patients."
Ball said the findings should help doctors and other professionals in healthcare to understand the complexity of obesity problems, to develop new methods of obesity treatment and referral system for appropriate treatment. "Approximately two million young Canadians are obese, treatment is required, which exceeds the production capabilities of local hospitals," he added.
For patients of Edmonton, practice an integrated approach to the treatment of obesity in children Center Stollery will allow families to get the most appropriate type of intervention, considering the state of health and individual needs. A multidisciplinary team including doctor, nurse, nutritionist, specialist, physiotherapists and psychologists will provide counseling on healthy lifestyle, allowing you to get on the path to health and well-being.
Team ball is currently preparing to conduct a large-scale national study aimed at studying the long-term consequences of childhood obesity and the probability of occurrence of diseases associated with obesity. For the purposes of this study will be invited to participate 1600 canadian children who are currently receiving assistance for weight control. Then within a few years, researchers will monitor participants, and analyze the success of interventions aimed at changing lifestyle.
Boll hopes that the access to medical services will have a positive impact on the health and welfare of this category of children. Health workers should know exactly preserved metabolic health in children without serious metabolic disorders as they grow older, and how this can be facilitated.
"Because most obese children to lose and maintain the new weight for long time is quite difficult, improve metabolism, physical activity and healthy eating are an important step."published