Overweight four-year-olds have a doubled risk of high blood pressure by age six, raising the hazard of future heart attack and stroke.
Overweight four-year-olds have a doubled risk of high blood pressure by age six, raising the hazard of future heart attack and stroke. That’s the finding of a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
“The myth that excess weight in children has no consequences hampers the prevention and control of this health problem,” said study author Dr Iñaki Galán, of Carlos III Health Institute, Madrid, Spain. “Parents need to be more physically active with young children and provide a healthy diet. Women should shed extra pounds before becoming pregnant, avoid gaining excess weight during pregnancy, and quit smoking, as these are all established risk factors for childhood obesity.”
According to the World Health Organization, childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. The problem is global and the prevalence has increased at an alarming rate. In 2016, more than 41 million children under the age of five were overweight.
This study, based on the ELOIN cohort, examined the link between excess weight and high blood pressure in 1,796 four-year-olds who were followed up two years later. Blood pressure was measured at both time points, as was body mass index (BMI in kg/m2) and waist circumference.
Read more at European Society of Cardiology
Photo Credit: Bru-nO via Pixabay