Atherosclerosis prevention starts in childhood: the obesity epidemic

Bol Asoc Med P R. Oct-Dec 2011;103(4):72-6.

Abstract

The atherosclerotic process begins in childhood and advances rapidly triggered by multiple genetic and environmental factors, including obesity. Obesity has reach epidemic proportions mainly by the consumption of junk food and a sedentary lifestyle. Our children spend long time inactive in front of the television and video games, further aggravated by the consumption of excessive calories of unhealthy food bombardment from TV commercials. The health related expenses of the obese is in average $1,500 annually higher than for persons with normal weight. The annual cost of diseases associated to obesity is estimated on $147 billion in the United States, a 10% of the national medical expenses. We must uncover strategies conducting to healthier lifestyles. School and home initiatives together with community and governmental efforts are necessary to stimulate our youngsters to live healthy lifestyles. The commitment of the food industry is critical to achieve the difficult goal of reducing childhood obesity to the prevalent 5% of the 1970's.

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Obesity* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Television
  • United States