ANOTHER SIDE EFFECT OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Childhood obesity in the US has simply gotten out of control when “more than 33 percent of children and adolescents -- approximately 25 million kids -- are overweight or obese.” It’s important that we all do something about it, mainly removing soda from schools and reinstituting Physical Education as an important part of our children’s education -- the latter of which has been abandoned by many school districts while others only use gym class to emphasize childhood sports rather than life long physical fitness.
But, a more sobering reason of why you should make sure that your child doesn’t suffer with obesity comes out of a study from the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery -- the journal of the Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors. The study showed that if your child was overweight and had high (for their age) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, they were more likely to have ear infections.
As anyone who has dealt with a child’s ear infection knows, it’s not a pleasant experience for all those involved. And when kids have recurrent infections, they often have tubes placed in their ears to drain the fluid and alleviate the discomfort -- again, not an appeasing situation.
We’ve known that certain family or social issues, such as smoking, are notorious for making your child more likely to get ear infections. (In fact, smoking in the house makes it more likely to have a child with recurrent ear, throat and chest infections.) But now we can add obesity to the risk factors for recurrent ear infections, or more importantly, include recurrent ear infections among the growing list of health hazards stemming from childhood obesity.
If you’re a parent or guardian, do NOT give up the ship. First, cut down on the thick crust pizza, sodas, and (caloric dense) juices and you can make a dent. Then, teach your kids to eat right by grocery shopping and preparing meals at home with them. This is an excellent way to make healthy cooking and eating fun and instill healthier, long-lasting eating habits into your child’s life.