New reference book: Metabolic syndrome and obesity in childhood and adolescenceThe medical reference book from the series "Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (Karger) presents current research findings on the causes and consequences of obesity, as well as prevention and treatment approaches in young people.
Prof. Dr. med. Wieland Kiess, Head of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Leipzig University Hospital, is the editor of the scientific book series "Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine" published by the biomedical publisher Karger. Volume 19, entitled "Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence," was published in early 2015. Book contributions come u. a. by researchers at the IFB AdiposityDiseases around the topic of overweight in childhood and adolescence.
Obesity in young people – an individual and societal problem
Even though the incidence of obesity in early childhood is stagnating in many industrialized countries, the number of children with severe obesity and pronounced metabolic syndrome remains very high. In the metabolic syndrome, signs of obesity-related secondary diseases, i.e., high blood prere, lipid and sugar metabolism disorders, become apparent. According to the KIGGS study of the Robert Koch Institute, 15 percent of children and adolescents in Germany are overweight, and around six percent are obese. In the group of obese adolescents, the number of girls and boys with extreme obesity is growing. Obesity is a clinical picture with relevance for society as a whole. Around 80 percent of overweight children. Adolescents remain too heavy in adulthood. Prevention is therefore. Therapy already important at a young age.
The new reference book therefore provides a comprehensive overview of new findings in obesity research in these age groups. In addition, various causes and effects of early obesity, innovative ideas for the prevention of childhood obesity such as e-health, and the consequences of modern, urban lifestyles will be presented. In addition, the publication includes a detailed discussion of modern treatment-. Prevention options at an early age.
Obesity influences pubertal development
The process of pubertal development has been poorly studied and is influenced by many factors, some of which are unknown. Since the beginning of the 20. In addition, a trend towards an increasingly early onset of puberty in the early twentieth century is becoming apparent. Due to the simultaneously high number of children and adolescents who are overweight, the relationship between physical condition in childhood and the onset and pace of puberty needs to be looked at more closely.
This topic has been addressed by Prof. Kiess and Dr. A book chapter dedicated to Isabel Wagner. Dr. Wagner was a junior researcher at IFB and is currently at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, thanks to a research fellowship. "Studies have shown that there is a clear correlation between reaching a critical body weight and the onset and progression of pubertal development," Wagner said. "In addition, rapid and early weight gain in childhood is associated with a more timely onset of menstruation, an early growth spurt, and early breast growth in girls." Other consequences of childhood obesity observed include premature appearance of pubic hair in both sexes and premature testicular growth in boys. Overall, the two authors were able to show a possible connection between obesity in childhood and adolescence and early pubertal development in the studies they examined.
Prevention of obesity in a "fattening" environment
Due to the numerous sequelae of obesity in childhood and adolescence, targeted prevention and education about the risks are important. Jana Markert, project leader and member of the junior research group "Preventive Medicine" at the IFB, addresses this ie in another book chapter. "The high incidence of childhood and adolescent obesity in industrialized countries and the obesity-promoting environment call for a whole-society prevention strategy," said Markert. "Even though this topic is already being vigorously called for and discussed in research, it needs to be brought more clearly into the public focus. Currently, the living environment in industrialized countries favors obesity. Obesity due to a refined advertised oversupply of food. Add to this the lack of exercise due to less physically demanding work. More physically passive leisure activities z. B. with digital media. Thus, to live healthy, personal resources, such as knowledge, time, money and self-efficacy are important. Nevertheless, some approaches already exist to raise awareness of obesity among consumers in industrialized countries. Healthier Kita-. School meals will z. B. as well as a ban on food advertising aimed at children. In order to be able to implement good approaches, public interest must first be created in order to ultimately make politicians, social groups and companies aware of this topic and willing to take action. What is needed is a rethinking of society as a whole, in which obesity is not just seen as a problem of the individual.
E-health should help in the prevention of obesity
Sabine Herget, another member of the IFB's "Preventive Medicine" junior research group, uses the current example of the e-health concept to discuss how such preventive measures could be designed. The still fairly new term e-health refers to the use of electronic devices z. B. to medical care, documentation, or measurement in health care interventions. "Since children and adolescents have a high connection to modern information and communication technologies, health-promoting information via new media is more likely to reach them," says Herget.
Thus, z. B. certain smartphone apps help to save calories or to measure one's own training status and thus be motivating. Measures should be based on psychological findings. Reaching participants directly in the most interactive form of communication possible. In particular, family and school-based prevention programs involving the Internet seem to be most effective in this regard.
Reference book in the series "Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine" (Vol. 19) "Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence.", Karger, Basel, 2015 Publisher: Kiess W. (Leipzig), Wabitsch M. (Ulm), Maffeis C. (Verona), Sharma A.M.