- About 20% of children in the UAE at ages 6 to 10 years old are overweight/ obese, 40% for age group 11 to 19 years old, based on a 2014 study
- The American Surgecenter calls for greater awareness on health and psychological consequences of childhood obesity in light of Childhood Obesity Week on July 6th to 12th
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; June 17, 2015: Cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and hypertension are once known to be chronic health conditions common only amongst adults. However, with the rates of childhood obesity rising over the years, these diseases are now commonly diagnosed earlier in life, and, as pointed out by Dr. Patrick Noel, Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon for The American Surgecenter, there can be higher instances of other weight-related health concerns later on as obese children are more likely to develop morbid obesity in adulthood.
Over the past decades, childhood obesity has become a health challenge worldwide. This happens to be a major concern as well in the UAE, where obesity trends continue to grow. Among the youth, obesity has increased at an alarming rate, with 36 per cent of six to 18-year-olds found to be either obese or overweight by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad) through a study conducted in 2013. A more recent study by the New York University Abu Dhabi revealed that overweight/obese rate from 11 to 19 year old is at 40 per cent, and 20 per cent for children at ages 6 to 10 years old.
The coming observance of Childhood Obesity Week on July 6th to 12th brings The American Surgecenter, a leading medical facility in Abu Dhabi, to highlight anew the need to raise further awareness on the risks and complications of childhood obesity. “Obese children and adolescents are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver, and other serious health problems. These children are also more likely to develop morbid obesity in adulthood. In addition, childhood obesity also can cause psychological distress and emotional trauma due to name-calling, ridicule, stigmatization or discrimination, which in the long run can adversely affect the mental and emotional health of an individual as an adult,” Dr. Noel said.