We’re all very well aware that obesity is an epidemic in our country. It’s been debated, advertised and researched, and yet still on the table as a growing concern that is still being taken to task by policy makers, community leaders and parents. Being obese increases our risk for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and joint problems.

Unfortunately, these diseases are also subject to occurring in obese children as well, and now, there’s another disease added to the list of long-term health effects linked to obesity.

Children that are overweight or obese face extreme health consequences and in a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine are at higher risk for developing advanced kidney disease as adults.

An Israeli-based research team looked at almost 1.2 million 17-year-olds who were given fitness exams for the Israeli military service between January 1967 and December 1997. Measuring obesity by the Body Mass Index (BMI) test the same individuals were also listed in a nationwide Israeli end stage renal disease (ESRD) registry. The study followed each subject for about an average of 25 years.

The Center for Disease Control reports that approximately 12.5 million, or 17 percent, of American children are obese. This number has tripled since 1980 among children and adolescents. There are also significant racial and socioeconomic disparities when it comes to obese children in our country. According to a 2009 report by the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, nearly one-third of the 3.7 million low-income children aged two to four years surveyed were obese or overweight. This may be caused by the lack of access to healthy food choices, lack of access to green spaces, sidewalks, parks and safe recreation centers.

As the nation continues to fight the childhood obesity problem with research, local legislation and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign, experts agree that if these children and teens decide to put in the effort to lose weight, they can significantly decrease their chances of kidney disease


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