The number of children clinically obese may be much greater than reported, as the current approach to measuring body weight may not be the ideal measurement tool.
A new study reveals that body mass index (BMI) measurements should not be the lone assessment in determining obesity in children. The study assessed BMI measurements against other techniques that can be used to identify obesity such as skin-fold thickness measurements and an imaging technique called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
"It [BMI] cannot distinguish between the lean mass and fat mass within the body," states a report discussing a new case study regarding child obesity.
"Obesity may increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions. This makes it important for children who may be obese to be identified, so they may have the opportunity to adjust their health routines before they get older," said Dr. Michael Gabriel of GPM Pediatrics.
The results of the study show "...children who had a high BMI were almost always also considered obese based on their body fat content. However, among kids who were not labeled as obese based on their BMI, 25 percent actually were obese based on their body fat content."
The study is just one of dozens relating to childhood obesity and related health risks and issues.
As Tech Times recently reported, obesity is now being tied to asthma health issues.
A joint study by researchers at University of Bristol, UK, and University of Queensland, Australia, reveals that extra weight and fat in children could lead to the risk of developing asthma, which is responsible for chronic inflammation of air passages, by an alarming 55 percent for every extra unit of BMI.
The researchers assessed 5,000 children who were suffering from asthma by the time they were seven and a half.
"Higher BMI increases the risk of asthma in midchildhood. Higher BMI may have contributed to the increase in asthma risk toward the end of the 20th century," explain the study authors.
Some good news, however, is that latest reports regarding childhood obesity indicate that the health issue is declining. Childhood obesity has dropped by an astonishing 43 percent in the past decade, with data suggesting that attempts to educate parents and children on the benefits of nutrition and exercise are sticking.