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  • Fat teens have liver problems.

    TRENTON, N.J. — In a new and disturbing twist on the obesity epidemic, some overweight teenagers have severe liver damage caused by too much body fat, and a handful have needed liver transplants.

    Many more may need a new liver by their 30s or 40s, say experts warning that pediatricians need to be more vigilant. The condition, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure or liver cancer, is being seen in kids in the U.S., Europe, Australia and even some developing countries, according to a surge of recent medical studies and doctors interviewed.

    The American Liver Foundation and other experts estimate 2 percent to 5 percent of American children over age 5, nearly all of them obese or overweight, have the condition, called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

    "It's clearly the most common cause of liver disease," said Dr. Ronald Sokol, head of public policy at the liver foundation and a liver specialist at Children's Hospital and University of Colorado Denver.

    Some experts think as many as 10 percent of all children and half of those who are obese may suffer from it but note that few are given the simple blood test that can signal its presence. A biopsy is the only sure way to diagnose this disease.


    Fat linked to cirrhosis
    As fat builds up, the liver can become inflamed and then scarred over time, leading to cirrhosis. Liver failure or liver cancer can follow, but if cirrhosis has not yet developed, fatty liver disease can be reversed through weight loss.

    The disease is most common in overweight children with belly fat and certain warning signs, such as diabetes or cholesterol or heart problems. However, it's been seen in a few children of normal weight.

    Genetics, diet and exercise level all play a role. It is most prevalent among Hispanics, relatively rare among African-Americans, and more common among boys than girls.

    "There are people in their 30s or early 40s that will require a liver transplant" from developing the condition as a child, predicts Dr. José Derdoy, head of liver transplants at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis.

    "There aren't enough livers to go around," says Dr. Philip Rosenthal of the University of California-San Francisco Children's Hospital.


    Transplant recipient
    Dr. Rosenthal's patient, Irving Shaffino, a Mexican-American who lives outside Lubbock, was lucky to get a transplant a year ago. He was in end-stage cirrhosis and, at 5-feet-4 1/2 , weighed 180 pounds.

    Irving, 15, had been fat since age 6 because of a high-starch, high-fat diet, said his mother, Guadalupe Shaffino. At age 8, she said, he had a distended stomach and by his early teens, breathing problems kept him tethered to an oxygen tank.

    Without health insurance, the family couldn't find a local hospital that would do a transplant.

    UCSF Children's Hospital, with money from a state health program, agreed to do the transplant. Rosenthal said without a new liver Irving would have died, maybe within months.

    Soon after tests were completed and Irving got on a transplant waiting list, an organ was found.

    "It felt like a miracle, because people say you could be on the transplant list for years," Irving said.


    Scant progress in losing
    Sadly, however, Irving has made little progress in losing weight since the July 26, 2007, operation. While he's grown an inch and a half since his operation, he's still obese, and his weight was up to 219 last month.

    Specialists say many kids diagnosed with fatty liver disease come to subsequent checkups heavier, and at best, just one in four loses significant weight, the only treatment known to stop and reverse the disease.

    "My patients that are successful, the whole family has bought in," increasing exercise and changing diet, said Dr. Stephanie Abrams, a liver and obesity specialist at Texas Children's Hospital. "The problem is that we aren't changing society in favor of becoming lean."

    The scope of the disease has only been realized in recent years. Just a handful of cases were reported in medical journals in the 1980s.

    Only three liver transplants on American children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were recorded from 1990 through 2002; two were done last year.

    Experts say the best way to fight the problem is to intervene early, while it can be reversed.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5989047.html
    ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
    Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    If we would get kids out side for even an hour a day, stop the fast food crap and the processed food snacks we would not have this problem. And tax payers are going to end up paying the price for this. That big, that many medical issues, no insurance company is going to take them on, and they cant get up to go to work.
    ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
    Oscar Wilde

    Comment


    • #3
      Everybody dies, There is no increased cost to society taking care of sick people, because eventually they will just be sick later on and society takes care of them then.

      Comment


      • #4
        i blame underage drinking...5 year olds and there jager, its horrible....
        dubbed code name: Alien #69

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by texaschickeee View Post
          If we would get kids out side for even an hour a day, stop the fast food crap and the processed food snacks we would not have this problem. And tax payers are going to end up paying the price for this. That big, that many medical issues, no insurance company is going to take them on, and they cant get up to go to work.
          I believe a good way to get young people active is to offer more sports programs in schools. Thinking back to high school, I didn't participate in any sports, and I was very obese. My problem was that the sports I was interested in, weren't offered at my smaller school.

          I think this is a big issue in inner city schools where funding for sports might not be the greatest.
          What is Perseverance?
          -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
          -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
          -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


          BOP - BPA - ICE

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
            I believe a good way to get young people active is to offer more sports programs in schools. Thinking back to high school, I didn't participate in any sports, and I was very obese. My problem was that the sports I was interested in, weren't offered at my smaller school.

            I think this is a big issue in inner city schools where funding for sports might not be the greatest.
            You also gotta realize that there is a precedence that is starting to occur where PARENTS are getting mad at schools that have gym classes that encourage and foster sportsmanship through competition. Some parents complain that sports can be too "risky" for the health of their poor little babies because what if little Billy or Beck falls when running in a game of freeze-tag? Or, worse yet, what if they ARE fat, and get picked last? Then their little fat feelings are hurt .

            As a side not, I was that same fatty that was picked last...and these parents need to get over it, and encourage their children as well as help them by NOT feeding them garbage all the time, or thinking it's ok for little Suzie to have that third bowl of ice cream...

            Comment


            • #7
              Kids need to get back outside!! Ix-nay the video games and go out and play cops & robbers, war, tag, wiffle ball, relivio (sp?), kickball, pickle, plain ole "catch" with any kind of ball (football was my favorite), or just go exploring (if they live in a rural setting).

              Obesity is a nationwide problem, for teens, youngins, & adults. America needs to become active again! JMHO Steppin' off me soapbox now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RCKoutWurGLKout View Post
                You also gotta realize that there is a precedence that is starting to occur where PARENTS are getting mad at schools that have gym classes that encourage and foster sportsmanship through competition. Some parents complain that sports can be too "risky" for the health of their poor little babies because what if little Billy or Beck falls when running in a game of freeze-tag? Or, worse yet, what if they ARE fat, and get picked last? Then their little fat feelings are hurt .

                As a side not, I was that same fatty that was picked last...and these parents need to get over it, and encourage their children as well as help them by NOT feeding them garbage all the time, or thinking it's ok for little Suzie to have that third bowl of ice cream...
                Yeah, I forgot about that.

                If it was up to me, high school would be paramilitary.
                What is Perseverance?
                -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                BOP - BPA - ICE

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CurlyQ View Post
                  Kids need to get back outside!! Ix-nay the video games and go out and play cops & robbers, war, tag, wiffle ball, relivio (sp?), kickball, pickle, plain ole "catch" with any kind of ball (football was my favorite), or just go exploring (if they live in a rural setting).

                  Obesity is a nationwide problem, for teens, youngins, & adults. America needs to become active again! JMHO Steppin' off me soapbox now.

                  ULTIMATE FRISBEE!!!!
                  dubbed code name: Alien #69

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 99 Fenix View Post
                    ULTIMATE FRISBEE!!!!
                    LOL, me old. Ultimate frisbee didn't exist way back when. But I like your way of thinkin'.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      at the elementary and middle school level the kids should HAVE to get up and play ball games, run or what ever. I do agree that more tings need to be offered in high schools. Yes, a lot of parents are over protective - like they could fall and hurt themselves...
                      oh shut up. a scrapped knee is going to be ok. Being picked last is ok, hey someone has to be picked. If its that big of a deal, do odd numbers agaist even numbers, (the 1-2 thing) and the numbers given as they walk out to sit in the rows if they still do that.

                      Yes David older people have more health problems, but at middle school having morbid obese children needing new lives due to their diets, which is a preventable thing we need to step up and do that.
                      ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                      Oscar Wilde

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I, personally have just lost 40 pounds and have 20 more to go.
                        I go to the farmers market, I pay a little more and get organic skim milk. no not all the things I buy are organic.
                        I walk daily. I use portion control and exercise as my way of losing the weigh.
                        guess what I look and feel great. No I don't deny myself anything, I will get a piece of cake if thats what I am craving. Not a whole cake.
                        choices and consequences.
                        ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                        Oscar Wilde

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Kansan,

                          Yeah, I agree with the paramilitary . Be sure to institute capital punishment in the form of paddlings, and give teachers some dang authority and power again in the classroom.

                          Texas,

                          Keep up the good work! It's tough, but once you get started and get that healthy mindset, it's well worth it!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My body fat level is currently at 8%. I didn't get that by eating Mickey D's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a super-sized McFlurry for dessert. Too many teenagers lack the motivation and self-appreciation to exercise. People (of all age groups) that want to exercise and stay in shape will do so regardless of sports programs. It isn't the government's responsibility to regulate the obesity in the country. It comes down to personal responsibility.

                            I'll readily admit that I've spent thousands of hours playing video games, but that doesn't mean I've neglected other areas of my life. For God's sake, it's negligent for parents to allow their child to eat to the point of needing oxygen support! At the same time, it's difficult to fault a child for being fat when you see the mom/dad handing them the #th candy bar in a row.

                            I have sympathy for people with medical problems that prevent a proper exercise routine, but I don't feel sorry for the MySpace generation being fat.



                            /rant

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Better get to work on human cloning!

                              Comment

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