Obese girls are four times more likely to develop Multiple Sclerosis, a neurological disease, according to a new study. The authors of the study recommend to parents that they consult a doctor if their children experience symptoms such as numbness or tingling. They also recommend exercise and a good diet at an early age.
MS attacks the central nervous system and damages the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. This makes it difficult for the patient to see, touch or control their muscles. Common symptoms include blurred vision, muscle weakness and challenges with mobility and balance. The disease can also be a precursor to Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS).
There is currently no cure for MS, but doctors say that they might be close to finding one. A recent study published in 2012 says that doctors were able to determine the MS triggers in lab mice.
Obesity is a problem all across the United States, especially within the African American community. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity in the US has doubled over the last 30 years. Now, one in every three American children are obese.
Annette Langer-Gould, one of the authors of the study, issued this statement:
“In our study, the risk of pediatric MS was highest among moderately and extremely obese teenage girls, suggesting that the rate of pediatric MS cases is likely to increase as the childhood obesity epidemic continues.”