Childhood Metabolic Syndrome

by Ren Chats

Metabolic syndrome associated with childhood obesity weakens children’s learning ability. Consequently, obese children find it difficult to reach the desired potential of scholastic achievements.

Teenage is the phase, when youths aspire to the profession of their dreams. Teenage obesity has adverse effect on youths’ professional potential, which may mask their competence throughout life.

The study reviewed

The study published online on September 3, 2012 in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasizes the diverse adverse effects of childhood obesity associated metabolic syndrome.

Obese teenagers in the study showed lower capacity to pay attention and flexibility in thinking process. Consequently, they lagged behind in mathematics when evaluated for academic competence. They also made more errors in spellings.

Though the children in the study had normal scores for all facets of
cognitive development assessment, they scored lower for IQ evaluation as compared to children who were not obese.

The teenagers in the study were not suffering from childhood diabetes – Type1 Diabetes. This proved that metabolic syndrome in children is associated with childhood obesity exists without any evidence of childhood diabetes.

Consequences of childhood obesity associated metabolic disorder

The study proves that any metabolic dysfunction can jeopardize brain growth, development and function. The commonest cause of non diabetic metabolic syndrome in children today is metabolic dysfunction associated with childhood obesity.

The results of the study throw light on the fact that childhood obesity is a disease that affects children emotionally, physically, intellectually and metabolically. Obese children are at high risk of diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and more.

Prevent and treat obesity in children before it harms them

Parents and professionals need to take childhood obesity very seriously. It is most often preventable. Detect it early and render adequate help right at overweight stage.

Studies show that high fructose corn syrup, a commonly used artificial sweetening agent, could be a major cause of disturbed body metabolism.
This artificial sweetener is commonly found in marketed natural fruit juices that are labeled "no sugar added": The fructose and corn syrup listed in the ingredients are taken as natural fruit sugars by most of us. High fructose corn syrup is also the artificial sweetener used in almost all diet drinks and diet ice-creams.

Clinical criteria:

• Monitor child’s weight and height gain at regular periods and observe the curve on growth chart.

Observe child’s BMI

• Record waist circumference

• Blood pressure monitoring intermittently:
Blood pressure of 90th percentile or more for the age and sex of the child; above 18 years adult values can be used.

Biochemical evaluations:

• HDL levels: Low serum HDL levels -50 mg/dl in girls and,40 mg/dl in boys indicate metabolic disorder.

• Hypertriglyceridemia: Serum triglyceride levels of 110 mg/dl or above.

• Quantitative insulin sensitivity check index - QUICKI

Question remains

Can brain dysfunction & compromised IQ of metabolic disorder be reversed by adequate treatment of obesity?
Most probably – Yes. We yet need confirmation from clinical studies.

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