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Childhood obesity may end up eating into disability funds

Childhood obesity may end up eating into disability funds

The latest season of Biggest Loser is tackling the issue of childhood obesity in an effort to raise awareness about its dangers. The program is trying to create a media buzz and cultural shift in the way that we view this epidemic. Their efforts at preventative health care for children may prove to be an immediate cost saver as well as long-term one as well for those who suffer from this disease.

New studies indicate that while most research has focused on the long-term consequences of childhood obesity, there are immediate problems that are just as important to address quickly. In a study that involved more than 43,000 children, it was found that obese children suffer from more immediate disabilities on top of being more likely to suffer from disabilities later on in life.

Obese children are almost twice as likely to develop three or more medical, developmental, or mental health problems as other children. Among the health problems more likely to occur due to their poorer general health are higher levels of depression, bone and joint problems, as well as a higher risk for developing asthma and debilitating headaches.

As discussed in our last post, children under the age of 18 who suffer from disabilities that limit the child's activities for more than a year may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if their parents meet the income requirements set forth by Social Security. The increase in disabilities due to childhood obesity may end up causing more financial strain on disability benefits than already exists. Preventative care such as that promoted by Biggest Loser may go a long way in saving this country's pocketbook as well as the next generation's health.

If you would like assistance in filing for or collecting the SSI available to you and your child due to disabilities which accompany childhood obesity, please contact an attorney practiced in Social Security Disability law.

Source: irishhealth.com, "Obesity in kids causes immediate problems," Deborah Condon, Jan. 14, 2013

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