Thursday March 21, 2019

Obesity may affect a child’s liver

Children with a bigger waist circumference (a measure of abdominal obesity) at age three and those with greater gains in obesity measures

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Obesity, Asthma
Asthma may up obesity risk. Pixabay

Parents take note. If your child is obese or overweight, it may have negative impact on his or her liver, a new study suggests. The study found that bigger waist circumference at the age of three raises the likelihood that by the time the child is eight years old, he or she will have markers for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat accumulates in the liver and triggers inflammation, causing liver damage.

“With the rise in childhood obesity, we are seeing more kids with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in our paediatric weight management practice,” said lead author Jennifer Woo Baidal, Assistant Professor at Columbia University.

A new type of skin patch that may reduce body: study
Children are falling prey to obesity. Wikimedia Commons

“Many parents know that obesity can lead to Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions, but there is far less awareness that obesity, even in young children, can lead to serious liver disease,” Baidal added. For the study, published in the Journal of Paediatrics, the researchers looked for fatty liver risk factors in younger children.

The researchers measured blood levels of a liver enzyme called ALT — elevated ALT is a marker for liver damage and can occur in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and other conditions that affect the liver — in 635 children. The researchers found that by the age eight, 23 per cent of children in the study had elevated ALT levels. Children with a bigger waist circumference (a measure of abdominal obesity) at age three and those with greater gains in obesity measures between ages three and eight were more likely to have elevated ALT. Approximately 35 per cent of eight-year-olds with obesity had elevated ALT versus 20 per cent of those with normal weight, the researcher said.

Also Read: How Gut Bacteria May Increase Obesity Risk

“Some clinicians measure ALT levels in at-risk children starting at around 10 years old, but our findings underscore the importance of acting earlier in a child’s life to prevent excess weight gain and subsequent liver inflammation,” Baidal said. IANS

Next Story

Research Reveals: It’s Your Friend’s Company That Can Turn You Obese

Social contagion in obesity means if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese.

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Unhealthy food promotes obesity. pixabay

Besides genes and an unhealthy diet, your friends can also play a role in making you overweight, says a study, which found that obesity can spread through communities like a ‘social contagion’.

The study showed social circles can influence a person to become obese, suggesting the risk of becoming overweight increases if one moves to an area with a high rate of obesity, the Daily Mail reported.

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On the other hand, the risk of the parent becoming obese or overweight went up five per cent for increase in every one per cent of obesity in the area. Pixabay

“Social contagion in obesity means if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese. Subconsciously, you are affected by what people around you are doing,” said Ashlesha Datar at the University of Southern California.

“If you move to a community where a sedentary lifestyle is the norm, you join that. There is this social influence,” Datar said.

For the study, the team included 1,314 parents and 1,111 children of US Army personnel at 38 bases.

The chances of becoming overweight or obese for a teenager increased four-six per cent for rise in every one per cent in the obesity.

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If you move to a community where a sedentary lifestyle is the norm, you join that. There is this social influence,” Datar said. Pixabay

On the other hand, the risk of the parent becoming obese or overweight went up five per cent for increase in every one per cent of obesity in the area.

Also Read: Authorities Scroll Through Social Media Violations Of Laws Restricting Political Parties, As It Forms Thailand’s Election “War Room”

The longer the families lived there, the more likely they put on weight, the report said.

Obesity can be caused by many variables, and previous research has shown living in certain communities carries a higher risk of obesity than living in other communities. (IANS)