Gregory Hill's grandsons Jason and Jordan are in pretty good shape.. and he sees to it...
"I take them to the park a lot. We eat pretty good. We eat healthy. I don't know if that has something to do with it."
Actually it does. A new study out in the Wall Street Journal shows that forty percent of obese kids have fatty liver disease. But it's not just the obese kids that have it. Ten percent of ALL kids have it. Dr. Essam Imseis Is the medical director for the pediatric liver transplant program at Memorial Hermann and UT Health. He says he's seen an uptick in the number of kids with it... .. and it has potentially serious long term consequences.
"The liver disease can scar the liver and ultimately lead to cirrhosis or end stage liver disease down the road that could potentially require a liver transplant." He says
Cirrhosis is usually seen in the livers of long term alcoholics... But these kids aren't drinking..
So what's the behind this alarming trend? Obesity is definitely one but it's going up in kids that aren't obese. Researchers have linked it to too much high-fructose corn syrup. There also may be a genetic component.
"You see more of it in Texas and more in the United States now because it's more prevalent in certain ethnic groups so it's actually more prevalent in hispanics than other groups.
And because of shifting demographics he expects the problem is probably going to get worse. By now parents are probably concerned, but he says it's easily reversible. No fancy old expensive medications are required. Simply put down the junk food, get up and go play