Children might look cute being fat, however, it can take a toll on their health in many ways in the future and type 2 diabetes is no exception. Discover how childhood obesity can become a contributing factor for postnatal type 2 diabetes after growing up.
1) Going Beyond Healthy BMI Range for Children:
Body mass index (BMI) is a Tool used to compare weight in relation to height, which gives a quick estimate of body fat. But in children instead, BMI is based on percentile charts based on weight, height, age, and sex. According to AAP BMI percentiles for age are as follows
a. Underweight: BMI less than 5th percentile
b. Normal Weight: BMI ranging from 5th percentile to 84thpercentile
c. Overweight: BMI ranging from 85th percentile to 94thpercentile
d. Overweight: BMI at or greater than the 95th percentile
A study conducted in the UK showed the fact that children with BMI in the obese range have fourfold chances of developing diabetes as adults.
It is a common misconception amongst Indian parents that a chubby child will make your child look cute and healthy and this way they will elevate their status in society that their child is well taken care of and fed well. On the contrary, being obese is unhealthy as the child grows up into poor lifestyle habits that are deeply ingrained. It is important to take control of the body right from the developing phase of life as a healthy mind dwells in a healthy body and increases longevity.
2) Nutritional Gaps Hampering Endocrine System:
Growing up with a weak endocrine system is known to cause hormonal imbalances during a later time in life. This causes your body to have inflammation making the body vulnerable to diseases like type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, hyperthyroidism, and Cushing’s syndrome. A diet with appropriate portions of recommended daily intake of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and micronutrients is known to keep your child’s endocrine system healthy. Connect with a clinical dietician at Kinder Women’s Hospital & Fertility Center, Bangalore for a complete diet for your child.
3) Low Birth Weight or Preterm Birth Affecting Metabolism:
Reduced Growth in early life as seen in SGA babies and low birth weight babies has been linked with a number of endocrine dysfunctions later on in life like insulin insensitivity, gonadal and somatotropic axis abnormalities, and premature adrenarche as per a study.
If a mother has Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, the chances of her child being a diabetic is 1:25 if she delivers before 25 years of age, and the risk increases to 1:100 if she is above 25 years old at the time of delivery. If the mother has developed diabetes before turning 11 years old, then the risk is doubled for the child according to a study.
5) Link between belly fat and insulin resistance:
Obese children have belly fat caused due to the inflammation and swelling of internal organs leading to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that helps cells in the body turn sugar into energy. But during the condition of insulin resistance, the body stops responding to insulin in the bloodstream and causing high sugars which get converted to fat. Sugar also causes high blood pressure which is also a symptom of type 2 diabetes
6) Wrong nutritional supplementation causing a burden on the liver:
Roughly about 20% of cases in the USA of liver injury come from herbal and dietary supplements with the culprit being supplements that serve multiple vitamins and minerals including both natural and synthetic sources, according to a study conducted. With the liver being the most vital part of the endocrine system, the chances of supplements going wrong are high if the medical history of the child is not considered. Connect with a pediatric endocrinologist in Bangalore at Kinder Women’s Hospital for more details.
7) Elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides:
If not a diet with high cholesterol and triglycerides then having a parent with high cholesterol and triglycerides is the cause of children developing this symptom of type 2 diabetes. Not all cholesterol is bad but the LDL of 130 mg/DL is the major contributing factor for diabetes in children. Obesity is about 52% contributing factor to high levels of LDL according to a stud. It is highly recommended to keep your child’s lipid profile in check when going through childhood obesity.
There are many factors for diabetes after being an obese child. Though Genetics plays a role, certain factors under our control which can be corrected and modified are healthy BMI, bridging nutritional gaps, healthy birth weight, reducing belly fat, right supplementation for liver health, and healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Connect with Kinder Hospital for the best pediatric care for your child. Click here to book an appointment now.