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Australia: Obesity causing disease in teens

Sydney University’s Associate Professor Michael Booth told a conference that obesity can begin causing disease in teenagers.

His researchers studied 500 Sydney 15-year olds and found disturbing results. About 20 per cent of the boys had high blood pressure, 15 per cent had elevated insulin levels (the first step to type two diabetes), and nearly as many had liver damage because they were overweight.

Read more: The Age, 18 Oct 2006

Childhood obesity a major health problem

Professor Michael Booth, co-director of the University of Sydney’s Centre for Overweight and Obesity, said teenagers were already showing signs of serious illness caused by their weight.

We’ve collected blood samples from 500 15-year-olds to look at health markers like cholesterol levels, blood pressure, triglycerides, insulin levels, glucose levels and something called c-reactive protein, which is an indicator of vascular damage, and liver enzymes which give an indication of liver cell damage associated with weight.

We still have to make some adjustments, but overall we’ve found they are all frighteningly high.

A proportion of 15-year- olds are already showing significant signs of organ damage associated with being overweight.

Read more: Press release, University of Sydney, 21 Feb 2005

Published on October 18, 2006 in Australian news