Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Preventing Childhood Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Childhood obesity has tripled over the past three decades.

In a recent Behavioral Health Central (BHC)
article, former President Clinton commented on the staggering childhood obesity rate.

“Without proper prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, our current generation could become the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents,” he said.

One in three American children and teens are obese or overweight. Seventy percent of them have at least one risk factor for heart disease. They also have higher risk for diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA is a serious condition. It decreases concentration and memory. It also contributes to weight gain, depression and daytime sleepiness.

Sleep apnea is already a major issue in today’s society.

More than 18 million Americans suffer from OSA. It can affect anyone. But people’s risk for the disease increases with weight gain.

This blog recently reported on a new study that found that obese children had a high risk of developing sleep apnea when they hit puberty.

Two percent of children have OSA. Obesity prevention helps keep sleep apnea from becoming more prevalent.

Many organizations are dedicated to raising awareness of OSA and obesity.

The AADSM is one of these organizations.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is another such organization. The Alliance has worked to increase healthy food options and physical activity in 6,000 schools. Find out about the Alliance.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.