Obesity in children can lead to heart disease

Childhood obesity is one of the most critical health conditions faced today. In the United States alone, one in every three infants is overweight and one in five adolescent children is overweight. According to medical experts, it's an epidemic that's likely to result in heart disease as children today age.

Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Michael Kia with McLaren Bariatric Institute in Flint says, "we know that obesity results in extra plaque deposition, we know it causes heart attacks and congestive heart failure, but this is in the adult population. We're seeing heart disease in young children and this is due to obesity."

Dr. Kia says if the problem continues down the path its on obesity could become a major healthcare crisis. "They estimate by the year 2018, 21 percent of every dollar spent in the United States will go to the treatment of obesity."

In 2000 alone, the cost to treat obesity in the united states was 117 billion dollars. If only the solution were as easy as it is to say... eat healthy and exercise. Dr. Kia says we first have to answer the question why a basket of fries is one third of the price of a salad.

"Until we can explain and rationalize those questions to ourselves we haven't really begun to address how to treat this disease or how it affects our children," said Dr. Kia.

Parents! It's critical to introduce healthy foods to your children early on. And yes, there are ways to help your kids to actually enjoy the healthy foods.

Dr Kia says a good way to introduce kids to healthy foods is to engage them in different games that are enjoyable or you can act as if your vegetables are animals.

"Our influences and our policies need to be addressed toward our children so the next generation does not fall victim to the same disease process," Dr. Kia added.

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Plus: Centers for Disease Control

Plus: American Heart Association

Plus: Walk in the Start! Heart Walk

Plus: McLaren Bariatric Institute