Childhood Obesity – Get the TV out of the bedroom

Earlier this year, a study was reported in the endocrinology literature about childhood obesity.  Endocrinologists are doctors best versed in diseases of metabolism and the hormones that regulate your body.   With the increase in the incidence of obesity in the nation, especially amongst young people, endocrinologists have spent a lot of time researching the variety of factors that are involved in obesity and the problems associated with it. You may have heard the term ‘metabolic syndrome’.   It is a term used for a combination of conditions, including obesity, increase blood pressure, and high cholesterol, that greatly increases the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease; both of which are major health problems nationwide.

So what does a TV in your kids’ bedroom have to do with all of this?  Well, the study reported earlier this year compared the TV viewing children ages 8 – 18 and the amount of fat in their bodies, specifically waists, via MRI and DXA scans. Used together, both imaging techniques can accurately, and non-invasively, assess the types of soft tissues in the body. The children’s’ cardiometabolic risk, via waist circumference, cholesterol levels, glucose levels, and triglycerides were also assessed.  These measures were compared to self reported television watching behavior.  When these data sets were aligned, researchers discovered TV’s in the bedroom equated to 2+ more hours of TV viewing than those who did not.  This extra tube time also correlated to increased waist size and abdominal fat as a consequence of being sedentary. These increases both contribute to the ‘metabolic syndrome’ mentioned earlier.  In growing children, these problems can compound to severely affect health.

As expert foot specialists, your Austin podiatrists’ care for your feet involves assessing and addressing your overall health.  Body weight above what is considered healthy put increase stress on your legs, ankles, and feet in both adults and children.  Over time this increase stress leads to injuries and breakdowns.  In kids and young adults, injuries can affect growing tissues and can have long term consequences.  Get the TV out of the bedroom, get you and your kids outside, and stay active to keep obesity at bay.

Until next time keep those feet and ankles happy and healthy, Austin

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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