A journalist from Horizon magazine is interviewing a consultant in endocrinology and
diabetes, Dr Lewis, about obesity in childhood and adolescence…
Journalist: Dr Lewis, can you please tell us more about obesity in childhood and
Dr Lewis: Well, obesity is a complex disease which is defined as abnormal or excessive fat
accumulation that presents a risk to health. It increases the risk of developing other diseases
and health problems including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain
Journalist: Is it true that children and teenagers are more likely to face this problem
nowadays, than say 20 years ago?
Dr Lewis: Yes, childhood and adolescent obesity is a growing public health problem needs
urgent attention. The upward trend in childhood and adolescent obesity is a global concern,
with up to 16% of the population aged between 10 and 17 years being classed as obese in
Journalist: That’s very alarming! And what causes obesity?
Dr Lewis: Well, the leading causes of excessive weight gain are poor diet and a low level of
physical activity. However, there are also genetic, metabolic, and hormonal influences on
body weight. Other contributing factors also include lifestyle choices and mental health
Journalist: What can parents do to help their children maintain a healthy weight?
Dr Lewis: For mothers, eating healthily during pregnancy and breastfeeding for seven
months or longer can reduce the risk of childhood obesity. Parents should also introduce
young children to a variety of healthy foods in a positive way. They should also encourage
their children to engage in physical activity as much as possible.
Journalist: What kind of physical activity should parents be promoting?
Dr Lewis: Physically active children are likely to become active adults so parents should
encourage outdoor play, family walks and active games daily from an early age. Research
evidence also indicates that children and young people who spend a large amount of time
watching television or online are much more likely to be overweight or obese throughout
their life. And given the rise in social media use among young people, this problem is set to
Journalist: Indeed, it’s very worrying... Thank you for your time, Dr Lewis - it has been very
interesting and informative!
To come around
To become conscious again after an illness or an operation
One hour after the operation, she started to come around.
To shake something off
To get rid of an illness
I really hope I can shake this cold off before the weekend.
To pass out
To become unconscious for a short period of time.
When the ball hit her on the head, she passed out.
To pick something up
To start to suffer from something
She picked up the cold when she was- on holiday.
To come down with something
To start to suffer symptoms of an illness.
I think I’m starting to come down with the flu.