The childhood obesity in the Canary Islands exceeds the national average in children over five years of age, reaching 43.31 percent, when the figure in Spain as a whole is 40 percent, according to a study on the evolution of the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the Canarian child population of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) and data from Nutritional Study of the Spanish Population published by the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC).
Thus, diseases such as type 2 diabetes, which used to appear during puberty, begins to appear in younger and younger patients in parallel with the increase in cases of childhood obesity and overweight, according to Vithas in a press release on the occasion of the World Day in the fight against obesity and overweight, which is celebrated on November 12.
Specifically, it is warned that non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia and other cardiac pathologies are increasingly found among the child population, pointing out that it is due to the “close relationship” that exists between obesity and being overweight with the risk of these diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that in the year 2022 there will be more children and adolescents with obesity, which will imply an increase in other diagnoses such as type 2 diabetes, if the current trend is maintained.
In this regard, the head of the Pediatrics service of the Vithas Las Palmas Hospital, Dr. Francisco Domínguez, explained that although in Spain the “true incidence of type 2 diabetes in the child population is unknown due to the absence of routine screening in pediatric consultations “, in the case of the United States an increase of up to 4.8 percent of new cases of this disease in pediatric patients between 2002 and 2015 has been observed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ).
Domínguez explains that this is the consequence of “inadequate” nutritional practices, as well as sedentary lifestyle among children in most industrialized countries.
Decrease in physical activity
For the head of the Pediatrics service of the Vithas Las Palmas Hospital, the decrease in physical activity means that children “present a lower caloric expenditure with a positive final balance that results in a weight gain that does not correspond to their age.”
In this sense, he states that the “most appropriate” thing is that, both at home and at school, children do physical exercise for “at least 60 minutes daily, so that they have a neutral or slightly positive energy balance and always in relation to with his age. ”
To this, he adds, that food is also “key” to combat these diseases, stressing that children must get used to eating five meals a day to distribute the calorie intake based on the development of activities and functional needs of the body.
Likewise, he points out that of the 35 intakes planned in a week, 10 take place during school hours during the school year, for which he has advocated because in educational centers “it is ensured that all food and beverages, sold or served, outside the program cafeteria, are nutritionally adequate and attractive. ”
Domínguez also considers that schools should offer “healthy food and drinks at school events and also that the rewards or prizes are not food”, while understanding that greater access to drinking water must be promoted within the centers. educational, as recommended by the CDC.