Obese kids face liver, cancer 'danger'

Obese children face a high risk of suffering from liver cirrhosis or cancer as they get older unless parents intercept the problem early.

Malaysian Liver Foundation president Tan Sri Dr. Ismail Merican, quoting Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity, said that as many as 15 percent of Malaysian toddlers were overweight or obese while 30 percent of primary school children faced the problem.

“If the non-alcoholic fatty liver problem is not addressed, these children can end up as obese adults and prone to all kinds of diseases such as liver damage, diabetes, hypertension and getting a stroke at a younger age,” he said in an interview in conjunction with the World Hepatitis Day campaign recently.

Ismail said that fatty liver would become a problem when it reaches the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis stage, where inflammation of liver occurs and can lead to scarring and subsequently cirrhosis or liver cancer.

“Fatty liver can be reversed but not liver cirrhosis,” he said.

Ismail urged parents to be good role models for their children’s sake.

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