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Obesity in childhood.

Childhood obesity is a major problem throughout the world. The editorial by Van der Merwe (4) and an article from Turkey (5) highlight aspects of this problem.

Obesity rates among children and adolescents have reached epidemic proportions in industrialised and developing countries, with an estimated 1 out of every 5 youngsters suffering from obesity and a BMI of over 30. Childhood obesity is a strong predictor of adult obesity, and very difficult to treat once established. Childhood obesity also predicts an increased likelihood of cardiorespiratory death.

Since carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) serves as a marker of preclinical atherosclerosis, Ozcetin and colleagues studied the effects of obesity on main carotid artery intima-media thickness and stiffness. They concluded that obese children with risk factors for multiple atherosclerosis could have increased CIMT dimensions, and consequently should be screened for these risks. Ultrasonographic CIMT and arterial stiffness measurements can detect vascular damage at an early stage of development in children with cardiovascular risk factors.

(1.) Bateman C. Bhisho corruption-busting now the national pilot. S Afr Med J 2012;102(5):274-276.

(2.) Sinclair W. The rational use of isotretinoin in acne: A call for moderation. S Afr Med J 2012;102(5):282284.

(3.) Ross AJ, MacGregor RG. Scholarship success: Umthombo Youth Development Foundation. S Afr Med

J 2012;102(5):288.

(4.) Van der Merwe MT. Obesity in childhood and adolescence. S Afr Med J 2012;102(5):289.

(5.) Ozcetin M, Celikyay ZRY, Celik A, et al. The importance of carotid artery stiffness and increased intima-media thickness in obese children. S Afr Med J 2012;102(5):295-299.

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Title Annotation:Editors Choice
Publication:South African Medical Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:May 1, 2012
Previous Article:Scholarship success.
Next Article:Questionnaire.

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