Television cause a sedentary lifestyle with obese children.

   Today’s children will live fewer years and with worse quality of life than their grandparents, because of the problems caused by obesity and passivity, as warned the president of the organizing committee of the Congress of the Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition in Spain. In the last ten years, childhood obesity has doubled reaching 13.9% in this country. Moreover, 30% of obese children will remain so well into adulthood.

   The comfortable habit of leaving children in front of the TV to not importune too, does a disservice to the health of children. Two New Zealand scientists have shown that watching too much television during childhood increases the chances of being obese more directly than a poor diet or not exercising. 41% of people who are overweight at 26 years of age coincides with those who spent more hours during their childhood watching television.

   According to the Aladino study, also in Spain, 19.1% of children aged between six and nine years are obese and 26.1% are overweight. The causes for this are lack of exercise and nutritional habits. The most serious consequence of obesity is sleep apnea. It can also cause joint and back disorders, and is the leading cause of hypertension, according to the Center for Biomedical Research Network-Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition. An obese child between 10-14 years old is 22.3% more likely to remain so between 21 and 29 years than one who was not obese. This situation can be avoided doing sports and eating well, «which does not mean eating less or more, but properly,» says the study.

   The main problems of childhood obesity are cardiovascular and endocrine. But there is another great danger: cancer. According to a study published in the journal «Cell» overweight acts as a tumor promoter in general and particularly in the liver. Nevertheless, the US Center for Consumer Freedom launched a campaign against overweight under the slogan «Obesity: epidemic or exaggeration?». It seems that some would deny the obvious in the fattest country in the world. The Journal of the Medical Association stated that obesity was the second cause of death in this country.

   Clemente Ferrer

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