Julian Omidi: Why We Must Stop the Childhood Obesity Epidemic
It is an indisputable fact that obesity has become an aggressive and virulent health issue not only for adults, but increasingly for children. The more the effects of obesity are studied, the more alarmed we become by the findings. For example, it was recently discovered that the obesity epidemic has not only affected the physical health of all those who suffer from it, but it may affect future generations as well—in ways we might not have anticipated.
It was reported recently in Pediatrics (a children’s medical journal) that children suffering from metabolic syndrome tend to score 10 percent lower on learning aptitude tests than their peers who haven’t been diagnosed with the condition. Metabolic syndrome is a conglomeration of conditions, including high blood sugar, high blood pressure, resistance to insulin, an excess of belly fat and high unhealthy cholesterol levels. These symptoms were practically unknown in children until the obesity rates became absurdly high in recent years.
Although the corrosive effects obesity can have on physical health can be corrected, there is alarming evidence to suggest that the mental impact might not be reversible. The longer we allow this phenomenon to go unchecked, the more children will be affected by it. How can we as a society cope with an entire generation of people who may be proven to suffer from a form of completely avoidable mental impairment?
Obese Children are More Likely to Develop Heart Disease and Diabetes
Incidences of heart disease and type 2 Diabetes are also inexorably linked to obesity, and these preventable illnesses are also disturbingly common in kids today. The prevalence of sedentary activities such as video games, television watching and internet surfing have led to a significant lowering of physical activity in children and adolescents. The consumption of high fat, high salt and high sugar processed snack foods that are devoid of nutritional value have also contributed mightily to the horrible statistics.
These findings have made health education imperative. My brother, Dr. Michael Omidi, and I were driven to start the Children’s Obesity Fund to help the parents of obese children open their awareness of all of the harms that can befall their kids if their behaviors are not modified. We need to create a global community of strong and healthy children, plain and simple. By providing a resource for parents looking to establish healthy lifestyles for their families, we hope to slow and, eventually, even stop the climbing obesity rates.
The Children’s Obesity Fund sponsors and promotes organizations that provide programs which help to inform people of the dangers of obesity in children, as well as offer practical and effective solutions. We want to invite everyone to assist us with our goal of eradicating this terrible epidemic, and help us to help parents raise fit, active and healthy children!