Another Rant on Obesity and Children

  1. So I was working pediatrics yesterday and was taking care of a 10 year old who weighed 106kg. The kid was so obese that she had developed severe pulmonary hypertension as well as an enlarged heart (this child was previously healthy prior to gaining weight). The pt now has baseline O2 as well as night time bi-pap for severe sleep apnea. Anyway, pt went south on me and we were shocked when we realized the child had elevated troponins. I will be honest, these are things I never thought I would see in pediatrics.
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    About ChristineN

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 3,573; Likes: 3,209
    RN; from US
    Specialty: Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg, NP to be

    11 Comments

  3. by   SoldierNurse22
    That's amazing in the saddest way. I'm not a peds nurse, but I've noticed just in day to day life that kids are a lot bigger than they were when I was a kid. I was at a lighthouse the other day climbing the tower and this 10 year old and his younger sister, probably 7 or 8, were climbing behind us and had to stop several times to catch their breath. I was walking with my parents, both of whom are in their 50's, and we were amazed at how quickly they wore out until we passed them and saw that they were probably a good 50lb overweight. It's incredibly sad. I can't imagine what health issues are staring these kids in the face as they grow up, if they grow up. Goodness knows elevated troponins and sleep apnea are the tip of the iceberg here.
  4. by   littlemammanurse
    Wow that is so sad!I try to encourage 60 minutes of activity daily with my 3 1/2 year old and healthy eating and healthy snacks.I know what overweight is like as I am overweight but am working very hard at changing that.

    I work in peds home health and it is sad how big some of these kids are!Parents don't seem to care like they should and that is very sad.
  5. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from littlemammanurse
    Parents don't seem to care like they should and that is very sad.
    these parents need education as well. (handouts, so they could read and reread in their private time)
    they need to know they are slowly killing their children.
    i'd like to think they'd listen to that.

    leslie
  6. by   vanburbian
    Poverty and obesity are linked, hand in hand. Education can help, to a certain extent, but in all honesty, parents who need to make 200 dollars stretch for 90 meals every month?

    Likely not buying a lot of fruits and vegetables aside from canned high Na over-processed garbage. Unfortunately, it's cheap, and more easily stored & shipped.

    A loaf of white bread @ 99 cents versus a loaf of whole wheat (not brown dyed) bread at 2 to 3 dollars...

    A gallon of OJ versus a gallon of Koolaid- 3 dollars or 30 cents?

    I could go on and on....

    It's very disheartening to know many of these kids will die in their 20's from heart failure, massive MI's and diabetic complications.
  7. by   nurse2033
    Holy moly, yup very sad. I would treat that, if it was my kid, as a 911 emergency, not something to work on. But obviously not all parents have that much control over their own lives.
  8. by   hjknisley
    I think it is a cultural issue. A friend of mine just returned from France and the first thing he noticed when he arrived at the airport was how overweight the majority of our population is. Just take a look around the next time you go to a buffet or fast food restaurant. Lack of physical activity, too many indoor distractions and portion size are winning this battle.
  9. by   ChristineN
    Quote from hjknisley
    I think it is a cultural issue. A friend of mine just returned from France and the first thing he noticed when he arrived at the airport was how overweight the majority of our population is. Just take a look around the next time you go to a buffet or fast food restaurant. Lack of physical activity, too many indoor distractions and portion size are winning this battle.
    Something tells me that the other countries will "catch up" with us if we give them a decade or two.
  10. by   anotherone
    1.Other countries are catching up.
    2. So if you are poor you going to be fat? When I had less money, I ate less! Yes, I couldn't afford $5 strawberries or $4/lb grapes (real price i paid for them this week) but I wasn't piling up on fastfood and cheetos.
  11. by   CourtneyLR
    Quote from leslie :-D
    these parents need education as well. (handouts, so they could read and reread in their private time)
    they need to know they are slowly killing their children.
    i'd like to think they'd listen to that.

    leslie
    Exactly. Parents need not only nutritional education, but more information on stretching their dollars to make fresh fruits & veggies and unprocessed foods affordable. There are ways!

    Cooking lessons, healthy recipes and free or discounted kitchen equipment would be a great addition to programs like WIC. I really think education should go hand in hand with any kind of government assistance because you just can't assume that folks have gotten the education elsewhere.

    I once knew a family who was very low income and were feeding their 3 year old from the McDonald's value menu every day. If they only knew, a Crock Pot meal would have been cheaper and healthier, by far!
  12. by   wee_oneRN
    Quote from hoopschick
    Poverty and obesity are linked, hand in hand. Education can help, to a certain extent, but in all honesty, parents who need to make 200 dollars stretch for 90 meals every month?

    Likely not buying a lot of fruits and vegetables aside from canned high Na over-processed garbage. Unfortunately, it's cheap, and more easily stored & shipped.

    A loaf of white bread @ 99 cents versus a loaf of whole wheat (not brown dyed) bread at 2 to 3 dollars...

    A gallon of OJ versus a gallon of Koolaid- 3 dollars or 30 cents?

    I could go on and on....

    It's very disheartening to know many of these kids will die in their 20's from heart failure, massive MI's and diabetic complications.
    I don't believe the link between economics and poor diet is that clearcut. I see many of these very same people with multiple electronic gadgets, hundred dollar cable bills, etc.. I think that education can still have a huge impact on helping families prioritize. You can still eat and live healthy on a tight budget. During my most impoverished period (starving student) I walked LOTS and ate 2-3 small, but mostly healthy meals. Couldn't afford cheetos and the other snacks I see provided daily to school children.
  13. by   1uvakindmom
    We are poor as I go thru nursing school, and i still feed my kids healthy meals. Very little junk food...

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