Childhood obesity linked to poor heart health signs: Study
Published : Saturday, 11 July, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 246
Toddlers who were obese or overweight show concerning signs of cardiovascular disease at 11-12 years of age, say researchers.
For the findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, the research team examined 1,811
children whose weight and height were measured every two years (age 0-1 to 9-10 years) to determine cardiovascular disease risk scores.
At age 11-12, the participants underwent further health checks looking at blood pressure, blood vessel health, cholesterol and glucose levels.
The research highlighted the silent effects of obesity in childhood and the need to intervene early.
"Our findings are in line with the World Health Organisation's calls for urgent collaborative action to address the matter through systems-based approaches and policy implementation," said study researcher Melissa Wake from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) in Australia.
"Such policies include increasing taxes on processed foods high in fat and sugar, safer and improved public transport and walking to school pathways and making community-based sporting activities more affordable and accessible," Wake added.
The researchers found that Australian children who were obese or overweight very early in life already show evidence by age 11-12 years of stiffer arteries, thickened arterial lining and are a high risk of later developing metabolic syndrome.