Childhood Obesity Leads to Heart Disease

Dutch researchers have found that 2/3 of severely obese children (aged 2–18 yrs) have been diagnosed with at least one cardiovascular risk factor:

  • 56% of the kids had hypertension,
  • 14% had high blood glucose,
  • 0.7% had type 2 diabetes,
  • 54% had low HDL-cholesterol

Even scarier….62% of severely obese children aged ≤12 years already had one or more cardiovascular risk factors.

childhood obesity heart dis Childhood Obesity Leads to Heart Disease

Study Highlights

  • The definition of severe obesity started at a body mass index (BMI) of 20.5 for a 2 year old, at 31 for a 12 year old, and at 35 for an 18 year old.
  • Only one child’s obesity was attributable to medical rather than lifestyle factors.
  • Nearly one in three severely obese children came from one parent families.

Study Conclusion

“The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose in these children is worrying, considering the increasing prevalence worldwide of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents,” write the authors. “Likewise, the high prevalence of hypertension and abnormal lipids may lead to cardiovascular disease in young adulthood,” they add. And they conclude: “Internationally accepted criteria for defining childhood obesity and guidelines for early detection and treatment of severe childhood obesity and underlying ill health are urgently needed.”

My Conclusion

Childhood obesity isn’t cute… and parents who enable it are doing their kids a HUGE disservice. 

 

child bmi chart Childhood Obesity Leads to Heart Disease

Reference

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.

1 Comment

  1. T_PerfectShape

    August 8, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Great post on a very important matter.

    It’s always best to prevent than to treat!
    Preventing childhood obesity should be a priority for all parents. Here are some great ways for this:
    1. Reduce the consumption of saturated fat (fat meat, processed meat, bacon, sausages, egg yolks, butter, cream, ice cream, cakes, chocolate etc.) and sugar
    2. Promote physical activity (jumping rope, swimming, dancing, soccer and even walking – such physical activities are extremely helpful for preventing obesity and also for health benefits like: reducing anxiety and stress, lowering blood pressure, strengthening bones, improving muscle structure etc.). Sometimes, it will be easier to convince your child to exercise if you do it too. Bear in mind, those children who are overweight need at least 30 minutes of exercises daily.

    You can read more here:
    http://www.the-perfectshape.com/2011/04/best-ways-to-prevent-childhood-obesity/

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