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Kids & Obesity-Hypoventilation Syndrome

Kids & Obesity-Hypoventilation Syndrome

Doctors and nutritionists alike agree that one of the most startling developments in recent years with regard to diet and exercise is the incredible increase in obesity in children and teenagers. According to recent numbers, more than a third of minors between the ages of 2 to 17 are overweight, and more than half of them are officially obese. These are incredible statistics that Americans have only recently begun to acknowledge. But the fact is that obesity rates in children have been on the rise for well over two decades now. However, rates have skyrocketed in recent years.

The Kids Aren’t Alright

So, why are children in American getting so fat? This is not an easy question to answer as it requires a close examination of culture, food, and societal trends. But like us take a moment to take a look at a few of the most obvious reasons. To begin with, kids eat more junk food than they ever had before. They eat it in school, at home, and when they hang out with their friends. But snacking and junk food have always been a part of being a kid. No, the major difference nowadays is that kids are no longer guaranteed even one healthy meal a day. These days, because parents are so busy, they often stop at pizza parlors or fast food joints instead of preparing proper meals. This has had a disastrous effect upon the diets and habits of millions of American children, who have been shown by their parents that fast food is a suitable substitute for healthy foods.

Another unfortunate development is that the states have drastically cut school budgets, which has forced the schools to cut several essential subjects, like physical fitness. And while it is recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, many children in America only attend gym class once (30 minutes) a week.

So essentially what we are creating is a nation of children whose diets are poor and who are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles. This is a dangerous combination and the numbers reflect these shameful practices and disconcerting trends that will undoubtedly result in a generation of overweight and obese adults who have been raised on fast food and no exercise.

Furthermore, we know that this is much more than wild speculation because each year more and more children develop diseases, disorders and conditions that were formerly reserved for adults. For example, the number of children who are diagnosed with adult onset diabetes (Diabetes Type 2) has quadrupled over the past decade.

Another increasingly prevalent condition in children is obesity-hypoventilation syndrome. Though it is still relatively rare, nearly ten percent of people who are diagnosed with it are obese children. And while it is difficult to define because it includes a whole host of disorders, it is generally agreed that sleep apnea (trouble breathing during sleep), insomnia, poor memory, and even hyperactivity are popular symptoms of obesity-hypoventilation syndrome.

Probably the most serious of these symptoms or disorders is sleep apnea. This condition is fairly rare, but it can be debilitating, especially for children. After all, when a person does not get a good night’s sleep, it inevitably affects his ability to concentrate and perform.

As with sleep apnea in adults, the breathing passages can be obstructed or even blocked by increased weight in the neck, which pushes down on the pharynx and makes it harder to relax and breathe freely during sleep. Oftentimes, obese children will struggle to breathe and then wake up suddenly, out-of-breath. Presently, there is no known cure for sleep apnea, but certain equipment, like special breathing masks can be worn to help keep the airways open during sleep.

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