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"GOOD NIGHT AND SHUT UP!"

Mar. 17, 2006; 7:30 A. M. PT

"THE CONDITION OF OUR KIDS"
"If this trend continues, our children's future will be in danger." -  Vincent Ferguson, fitness expert.

Gerry M. Kaye

If any one thing is a barometer on the "progress" of societies, it's the condition of their growing children.

Soaring numbers of American children are being prescribed anti psychotic drugs, in many cases for attention deficit disorder or other behavioral problems for which these medications have not been proven to work, according to a study which appears in the March-April, 2006 edition of the Journal - "Ambulatory Pediatrics".

The annual number of children prescribed anti psychotic drugs jumped fivefold between 1995 and 2002, to an estimated 2.5 million, the study said. That is an increase from 8.6 out of every 1,000 children in the mid-1990s to nearly 40 out of 1,000.

The researchers analyzed data on youngsters age 13 on average who were involved in annual national health surveys. The surveys involved prescriptions given during 119,752 doctor visits. The researchers used that data to come up with national estimates.

The findings are worrisome "because it looks like these medications are being used for large numbers of children in a setting where we don't know if they work," said lead author Dr. William Cooper, a pediatrician at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

"Woefully Mediocre Health Care"

Startling research from another big study focusing on U.S. health care quality, suggests that Americans, rich, poor, black, white, get roughly equal treatment, but it's woefully mediocre for all.

"It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor, white or black, insured or uninsured," said chief author Dr. Steven Asch, at the Rand Health research institute, in Santa Monica, Calif. "We all get equally mediocre care."

"This study shows that health care has equal opportunity defects," said Dr. Donald Berwick, who runs the nonprofit Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass.

"Childhood Obesity"

Childhood obesity rates will soar dramatically in most parts of the world by the end of the decade and raise the risk of diabetes in young people, health experts said on Monday.

According to the American Obesity Association approximately 30.3 percent of children (ages 6 to 11) are overweight and 15.3 percent are obese. For adolescents (ages 12 to 19), 30.4 percent are overweight and 15.5 percent are obese.

Vincent Ferguson, fitness expert says, "With the nation battling an obesity epidemic, it's no wonder that our children are caught on the frontlines," says Ferguson. "This generation of children are seeing chronic diseases we have never seen before in young people: type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure."

"According to a recent study that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers predict a 3- to 5-year obesity related shortening of life span among children. If this trend continues, our children's future will be in danger," says Ferguson.

Obesity levels are rising - according to World Health Organization data; and the prevalence of childhood obesity is just as alarming, according to the International Obesity Task Force. Researchers say urgent action is needed to stop the rising trend.

Obviously, lack of proper nutrition plays a leading role, as people are caught up in weight loss diets that often do more  harm than good. As more parents find success with low-carb diets themselves, they might be tempted to get their children to follow similar regimens.

Pathologists, who see the effects of poor nutrition, say it can affect children both physically and mentally.

The College of American Pathologists explains what parents should do to make sure their children get the proper balance of nutrients and stay healthy as they grow.

 "The main problem of high protein diets is in the strain they put on kidneys and the risk of renal failure", said Dr. Paul Clayton, president of the forum on food and nutrition at the Royal Society of Medicine in London.

"The obesity estimates are very cautious, but extremely worrying," said Dr Tim Lobstein, of the International Obesity TaskForce (IOTF), who analyzed worldwide trends in childhood obesity.

"When we looked at the overweight it was astonishing to see that nearly half of children in both North and South America could be overweight in just four years time."
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"Urgent Action Is Needed"
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By 2010 the number of overweight and obese youngsters in the European Union nations is expected to hit 26 million. An estimated 20,000 obese youngsters will have type 2 diabetes, a previously adult disease.

Over a million children will show signs of high blood pressure, raised cholesterol levels or early indicators for cardiovascular disease.

Changes in diet, a decrease in physical activity and too much time spent in front of computer or television screens have been blamed for the growing number of overweight children worldwide.

North America, Europe and part of the Western Pacific have the highest prevalence of overweight children at about 20-30 percent.

"It is amazing and impressive and devastating," Professor Philip James, chairman of the IOTF, said in an interview referring to the research.

"They have put in a much fuller collection of information than we have ever seen before. They have also looked specifically to see how fast the epidemic is going and projected it forwards."

The research reported in the new International Journal of Pediatric Obesity shows 10 percent of children in Europe, nearly double the level of earlier surveys, will be obese by 2010.

In the Middle East the figure is expected to rise to 11.5 percent while in North and South America the obesity level in children may climb to 15.2 percent.

The Asian average could triple from 1.5 to 5.3 percent. The researchers said estimates for Africa are unavailable because of insufficient data.

"The prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing in almost all industrialized countries for which data are available, and in several lower income countries," Lobstein and his co-author Dr Youfa Wang from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, said in the report.

The researchers, who used World Health Organization data and published research to estimate overweight and obesity prevalence levels for 2006 and 2010, said urgent action is needed to stop the rising trend.

"We can only do this if we seriously address the need to cut down the consumption of extra empty calories in high fat and high sugar good products, and do much more to improve children's opportunities to be active," Lobstein added in a statement.

"Related Links"

The link between the alarming growth of psychological and behavioral problems and obesity in our kids is obvious.

With most of the world's cultures slackingly disregarding the effects on kids from so much public, debased moral display, its no wonder that confusion and uneasiness render the symptoms of sickness' in so many children.

Kids indoors, nowadays, watch a lot of television and play questionable video games, rather than getting out and exercising.

Television offers very little productive benefit for kids; but a lot of confusion, violence and perverted sexual content that in no way can be healthy for growing children. Gyrating, scantily clad "music virtuosos" get a lot of attention; inane sitcoms provide broken down values portrayed as "fun and laughter".

"Newscasts" continually produce emphasis on chaos and confusion reporting mainly the negative; with a bevy of partisan "talking heads" that constantly engage in total contradiction, depending on what political party or agenda they are pushing, leaving anyone still trying to figure it all out to wonder what could possibly be the truth.

So what are the children thinking, how are they reacting, and who cares?

After an average day imploding with displays of  abominable immorality, violence and confusion, in a world seemingly to have lost its way and gone awry, symptomatic of growing illnesses in sickened children and many equally suffering and  unhappy adults, with no evident reparative, conscientious involvement from the recipients of the ugly, grindingly confused, but lucrative "commerce" that all of  the dismal display brings, one can only cynically turn off the TV and say, "Good night and shut up!"
 

References:
March 16, 2006 /PRNewswire; Associated Press; MARKET WIRE-Mar 14, 2006
 
 

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NEWS:  4/9/06  Study -"Unprecedented Doubling of Type 2 Diabetes Drug Use For U. S. Kids"
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 HealthDay News - Finding an increase from 0.3 to 0.6 per 1,000, the 4 yr. Study analyzed prescription records of nearly 4M U.S. kids, for the number of children & teens taking prescription drugs to treat or prevent type 2 diabetes: "From 2002 to 2005, we found a doubling of type 2 diabetes medications...we've never seen a doubling of prescriptions over this period of time," said Emily Cox, the sr. dir. of research at Express Scripts, that conducted the study.  She believes it lends credence to what doctors and other health care professionals have long suspected: that as Amer. kids "become heavier, their risk for type 2 diabetes is rising."
To learn more about diabetes in children and teens, visit the U.S. National Diabetes Education Program.

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