Mon, Sep 25, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Doctor warns on dangers facing overweight kids

By Wei Yi-chia  /  STAFF REPORTER

Youngsters with generous waistlines should beware of metabolic syndrome, said a community health physician from the Taipei Veterans Hospital yesterday.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 teenagers in Taiwan suffer from the disease. If the waistline of a young man falls in the range of 84cm and 89cm, an increase of 1cm will increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 14 percent.

If a young woman's waistline falls in the range of 75 cm and 78 cm, an increase of 1cm will increase the risk by 5 percent.

Chu Nien-feng (祝年豐), an attending physician in the Department of Family and Community Health at the Taipei Veterans Hospital, said metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic disorders.

Metabolic syndrome is a very important early indication of the possibility of developing cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular accidents or stroke, diabetes, and kidney diseases.

A person is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if their wasteline exceeds standard measures in combination with any two of the following factors: high triglyceride, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

"Abdominal obesity is a typical symptom of metabolic syndrome. However, most people only look at the waistlines and metabolic problems of adults, and ignore the fact that if preventative measures are taken earlier in life, the negative effects can be mitigated," Chu said.

Chu recently surveyed waist size, blood sugar and cholesterol among 1,500 Taipei teenagers and found that 4.3 percent, or 100,000 teens in the city have metabolic syndrome. The result was 4.8 percent among boys and 3.9 percent among girls.

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