Advertisement

Overweight Teens at Risk for Liver Disease

Overweight Teens at Risk for Liver Disease

Dontari Poe, the Atlanta Falcons nose tackle and two-time Pro Bowler, came into the NFL Combine at 346 pounds—and could run the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds! A super-big, super-fast lineman makes for a great player, but according to research, packing on extra pounds is not so great for a young man’s liver down the line—even Dontari’s. 

We know when teenagers are overweight they’re looking at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease later in life. And research shows over-poundage also increases the risk of serious liver problems as an adult.

For the study, published in Gut, researchers analyzed health records of 1.2 million Swedish men from the time they were young adolescents through adulthood. They found that the higher a boy’s BMI in the later teenage years, the higher his chances of developing severe liver disease and even liver cancer. And the risk of liver problems is even greater for young men with type 2 diabetes.

If your child is overweight or already has type 2 diabetes, you need to act now to help assure a healthy, productive future for him or her. That means changing the way your family shops for, prepares and eats food. Get the kids involved—and get creative! Initiate smaller meals and a family activity plan that includes after-meal walks and weekend adventures to local parks. Then work with your doctor to monitor your child’s liver health (a simple blood test will do it) and you’ll catch any problems before they develop.

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

It’s Time to Talk to Your Teen About Sexting
It’s Time to Talk to Your Teen About Sexting
America’s young people are attached to their smartphones, and texting is their predominant mode of communication. According to a 2015 Pew Research Cen...
Read More
How can I prepare my teenager for hospitalization?
Alliance For Kids®Alliance For Kids®
Begin preparing your teenager for hospitalization a couple weeks to a month ahead of time. This will...
More Answers
How much sleep does my teenager need?
Dr. Robin Miller, MDDr. Robin Miller, MD
The optimum amount of sleep time for teens is 9 and 1/4 hours per night. This is hard to do because ...
More Answers
The Case Against Adderall, Pt 5
The Case Against Adderall, Pt 5