July 23, 2012
Healthy lifestyles can help address childhood obesity
in three severely obese children already have at least one risk
factor for heart disease, new research shows.
The study findings revealed 67 per cent of 307
severely obese children had at least one risk
factor for heart disease. Over
half had high blood pressure and a
similar proportion had high levels of low
density (LDL), or bad, cholesterol. Fourteen per cent had high
fasting blood glucose and just under one per cent had type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, high blood cholesterol and
high blood pressure are all modifiable risk factors for heart disease.
The researchers’ definition of severe obesity
started at a body mass index (BMI) of 20.5 for a 2-year-old, 31 for
a 12-year-old, and 35 for an 18-year-old. They found only one
child's obesity was attributable to medical rather than
This is a problem that can be addressed by stopping young people becoming overweight and obese in the first place
Doireann Maddock, our
Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “Although it was a small study,
the findings leave a bad taste
in the mouth.
“It’s a huge concern so many
obese children were identified as already having at least one risk
factor for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high blood
glucose and problems with cholesterol levels.
“However, this is a problem that can be
addressed by stopping young people becoming overweight and obese in
the first place. Highlighting the importance of healthy eating and physical activity from an early age will help
protect the heart health of future
campaign aims to help tackle childhood obesity
and encourage children to lead a healthier lifestyle.
The study was published online in the BMJ
journal, Archives of Disease in