Bureau urges parents to monitor kids

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Apr 03, 2013 - Page 4

With Children’s Day approaching, Bureau of Health Promotion Director-General Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞) yesterday called on parents to pay close attention to their children’s weight, so that children can develop healthily.

A survey conducted by the bureau in 2009 — the latest survey by the agency — found that obese children are almost twice as susceptible to abnormalities in blood pressure, blood lipid and blood sugar levels than non-overweight children, the bureau said.

Of 713 children aged between seven and 12 years old who underwent a blood test, 20 percent of overweight and obese children had abnormal blood pressure, 23.5 percent had abnormal lipid levels and 13.6 percent showed blood sugar abnormalities, the bureau said.

The figures were in stark contrast to the corresponding 12.7, 14.4 and 7.7 found in children of normal weight.

The bureau, citing data compiled by the Ministry of Education, added that one out of every four children in the country is overweight or obese.

An obese child has a 50 percent chance of becoming an obese adult, it said, adding that the probability jumps to two-thirds if the child is obese when entering puberty.

The bureau said that overweight and obese children are potential victims of chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and that they might also be troubled by issues such as the early onset of puberty, diffidence and height growth limitation.