Deadly Thin: Teen Obesity


Dr. Phil sits down with The Doctors to tackle a weighty topic. Obesity in teens is on the rise, and with the extra weight come extraordinary health risks. According to news reports, overweight kids have more stomach problems, headaches, orthopedic issues, diabetes and heart disease. Overweight teens have a higher risk of premature death, and that risk triples for obese young women.

Dr. Phil begins by addressing Dr. Sears. "As a pediatrician, you see this every day. What's going on?" he asks.

"I see it every day, all day in my office," says Dr. Sears. "So many kids are eating too much, they're obese, and all the health problems that come out of that: increased risk of cancer, heart disease even " we're seeing heart disease in kids! And, you know, it all starts with what they're eating. And one of my big questions I ask patients in the office is what they had for breakfast, and I found that only about one out of 10 kids is having a decent breakfast every day."


"They're eating sugared cereals, right?" asks Dr. Phil.

"Sugared cereals, 7-Up, donuts, Pop Tarts, all that kind of stuff," Dr. Sears explains.

"And as a plastic surgeon the key thing to remember is if you develop fat as a kid, you're going to fight it the rest of your life," says Dr. Ordon. "Fat cells are determined during childhood and adolescence, so if you have those fat cells, and they're sitting there, you're going to be fighting that problem the rest of your life."

"Well, it's important to note that the rate has doubled," adds Dr. Stork. "So we can't just blame genetics.
Yes, there can be a genetic component, but the fact is it's lifestyle, and kids are not as active as they used to be. Kids used to go outside and play. They'd run down to the creek. They'd come home for dinner, and they'd be back out the door. But now with computers and games, kids are not exercising as much as they should."

"And adults are using food to bribe them, to shut them up. They haven't dealt with their own eating disorders," says Dr. Fields.

"The problem is the biggest image drivers that we have are the media," says Dr. Phil. "The girls who are lifted up as the icons are underweight, and so it defeats a lot of kids who say, 'I can't look like that,' so they just give up and start eating, or they try in the extreme to get there. And many girls actually starve themselves to death trying to look like Posh Spice or Nicole Richie."