April 28, 2015 08:18
Doctors on Thursday called on the government to do more to rein in child obesity. They met at a seminar organized by the National Health Insurance Service.
According to one study by Yonsei University College of Medicine, overweight children are highly likely to become obese adults.
Even overweight six-month-old infants stand a 14 percent chance of ending up as obese adults, rising to 41 percent among seven-year olds and a staggering 70 percent among those aged 10-13, said Prof. Oh Sang-woo of Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital.
Education Ministry data show obesity among primary and secondary school students rose from 11.2 percent in 2008 to 15 percent in 2014.
Obese children or adolescents are prone to chronic diseases like fatty liver and high blood pressure and, when they grow up, are vastly more susceptible to adult obesity and metabolic syndrome, said Prof. Moon Jin-soo at Seoul National University Hospital.
In advanced countries, governments are trying to put the brakes on growing obesity rates, Moon said.
"Korea too needs guidelines on meals and exercise for infants and children, and obese patients should get help to change their thinking and behavior patterns." he added.
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