More Morbidity — Coming Storms

Many medical professionals have spoken up about the urgency of recognizing the increased risk to health and life when obesity combines with other physical ailments. For instance, Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker:

Obesity must be taken very seriously because it affects almost every organ in the body. Effects of obesity can be divided into metabolic and hormonal issues, bio-mechanical problems and organ-specific diseases.

An extensive Swedish study that we will be talking about more ended up with a dire Conclusion:

This prospective cohort study shows that individuals who had obesity in childhood already have an increased risk of death by early adulthood, compared with a population-based comparison group. Among those who had obesity in childhood, 1 in 4 had obesity recorded as a cause of death. Identifying specific factors that may impact the risk of early mortality in individuals with obesity in childhood is important, to enable preventive actions and to promote long-term health.

Recently we spoke of the very high odds that any case of childhood obesity either co-exists with, or soon will co-exist with, a co-morbidity. Together, they add up to a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The number of potential co-morbidities is quite large. They can affect the entire body or various parts and systems, and interact with obesity to the patient’s detriment:

  • Brain — reduced executive functioning and working memory, increased impulsiveness, poor cognitive function
  • Cancer — obesity has been linked to at least 13 types of malignancies
  • Cardiovascular — problems including, but not limited to, essential hypertension, coronary artery disease, ventricular hypertrophy, venous varicosities, impaired microvascular function
  • Central nervous system — decreased sympathetic nervous system responses, multiple sclerosis
  • Cutaneous (skin) problems — intertrigo, acanthosis nigricans, hidradenitis suppurativa, hirsutism, increased risk for cellulitis, carbuncles
  • Eyes — myopia, intraocular pressure
  • Gastrointestinal — gall bladder disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, fatty liver infiltration, reflux esophagitis
  • Metabolic syndrome — diabetes, insulin resistance, systemic low-grade inflammation
  • Orthopedic — bone damage, joint damage, defective cartilage, osteoarthritis, slipped capital femoral epiphyses, fractures, chronic lumbago, deformed feet, osteoarthritis
  • Periodontal disease
  • Psychological — anxiety, depression, addiction
  • Reproductive, obstetric, perinatal — potential problems too numerous to mention here
  • Respiratory — obstructive sleep apnea, increased predisposition to respiratory infections, increased incidence of bronchial asthma

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Understanding The Health Conditions And Diseases Associated With Obesity,”, 01/17/21
Source: “Association of childhood obesity with risk of early all-cause and cause-specific mortality,”, 03/18/20
Image by Robert Sullivan/Public Domain

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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