Childhood Obesity Linked to Higher Cancer Risk

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In the wake of new research by Children's Hospital Los Angeles identifying a link between obesity and leukemia in children, brothers Michael Omidi, MD and Julian Omidi are fighting to keep kids healthy through their Children's Obesity Fund charity.

A new connection between childhood obesity and leukemia, the most common form of cancer in children, was recently found by the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. This finding underscores the serious health consequences associated with childhood obesity and the need for education organizations like the Children’s Obesity Fund, according to co-founders Michael Omidi, MD and Julian Omidi.

“We all know that children suffering from obesity are at great risk of developing severe medical conditions later in life,” says Michael Omidi co-founder of the Children’s Obesity Fund. “This report indicates that obesity has more ramifications than we thought.

The study, led by Steven Mittelman, MD, PhD and featured on the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles’ website, found that fat cells can act as kind of safe harbor for cancer cells—giving them a place to hide and thwart effective treatment. The fat cells might produce a hormone or some kind of fuel that attracts cancer cells and encourages them to grow and multiply. This study has generated an interest in studying what kind of attractant fat cells seem to produce—perhaps a type of amino acid—that renders chemotherapy an ineffective treatment. Hopefully this new information will help the medical community design more effective treatments for the disease.

“It is possible to reverse the threat of certain preventable diseases—type 2 diabetes and heart disease, notably—by addressing the childhood obesity issue,” says Omidi. “If it is also possible to lower the possibility of leukemia by eradicating the problem of childhood obesity, then we really need to step up our efforts significantly.”

Co-founded by Michael Omidi, M.D. and Julian Omidi, the Children’s Obesity Fund hopes to help reverse the trend of rising obesity rates in America. The goal of the non-profit charity is to help people fully understand the obesity issue and its dire impacts on individuals and society as a whole -- and to use that knowledge to encourage children to grow up strong and healthy. Children’s Obesity Fund partners with other organizations to educate and support parents, educators and others so that we can all work together to raise healthy, active, social, and happy children. The organization is on Facebook and can also be found on Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.

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