Obesity is a growing problem in the United States that has serious health complications. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Minority Health noted that children who are overweight during their adolescent years have a 70 percent higher likelihood of being either overweight or obese as adults. Among adults, 34 percent of people ages 20 and over in the United States are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s data from 2007 to 2008. With obesity, your body mass index (BMI) is 30 kg/m2; in comparison, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2.
Untreated obesity can lead to several health issues. For example, MedlinePlus noted that people who are obese and do not receive treatment commonly develop obstructive sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoarthritis and stroke. Some types of cancers have a link to obesity, such as colon cancer and breast cancer. Mental health conditions can also arise from untreated obesity, including depression.
Certain people have a higher risk of developing obesity. For example, people who have a sedentary lifestyle, suffer from chronic mental illness or used to smoke have a higher risk of becoming obese. In a new study published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers have linked attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to adult obesity. Between 3 and 7 percent of school-aged children have this disorder, which causes symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, noted the CDC. These symptoms of ADHD are what increases the risk for adulthood obesity.
The study included data from 15,197 adolescents from the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which had data from 1995 to 2006. The ADHD patients who had more symptoms had the higher risk of obesity.
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