Sugar Rich Nonalcoholic Beverages Increase Risk of Obesity in Children


Published Date : Jun 29, 2015

The rate at which children are developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes is indeed alarming.

Not so long ago, it was unusual to see children developing diabetes related complications and cardiovascular disorders. However, according to Femi Fasanmade, associate professor of endocrinology at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, today the condition has not only become common but is also on the rise.

Fasanmade states that childhood obesity is a more common occurrence in high and middle socioeconomic groups. Even though there are no national statistics to back this frequent occurrence, the number of children affected by diabetes or cardiovascular diseases is increasing and some kids are even developing type II diabetes owing to this. 

Femi Fasanmade, associate professor of endocrinology at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, indicates towards a survey that was conducted in a few primary schools which showed that 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the students were either overweight or obese.

The consultant endocrinologist observed that the condition in children is on the rise owing to the increasing calories consumed through soft drinks and fast foods, smaller family size, reduced exercise, longer hours spent in front of the television, and increased use of indoor games. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity especially in developing nations can be attributed to the marketing of nonalcoholic drinks high in sugar content and energy dense, ultra processed, and nutrient poor foods.

Margaret Chan, director general addressed the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity in Hong Kong and stated that childhood obesity can disrupt the good that comes with economic and social progress. She added that childhood obesity needs to be addressed as an urgent and significant threat to the health of the kids and it is a relevant issue in all countries. Margaret Chan cautioned that merely voluntary initiatives would not be sufficient to curb the problem.