Alarming Health Risks For Overweight Children

Childhood weight problems create long-lasting problems

A new report, presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2010 session, explained a correlation between blood pressure and body mass index in children. Findings explain how children that are already overweight, notice significantly larger blood pressure risks with an increase in BMI than do children noticing a similar BMI increase but having a normal body weight.

The importance of the study helps outline the significant risks associated with childhood obesity, including cardiovascular disease and other heart problems. Additionally, understand that gradual weight loss with an improved diet and regular exercise has significant and long-lasting positive results.

For the study, more than 1,000 children were analyzed in terms of height, weight, and blood pressure for up to 10 years. The BMI statistics of each child was compared to national averages. Children having a BMI in the upper 15 percent can be classified as overweight. For children below 85 percentile on the BMI scale, the blood pressure effects were linear. However, children above 85 percent, and more noticeably over 90 percent, noticed significant risks in terms of blood pressure.

Results show overweight children experience nearly four times the blood pressure risks than a child with normal body weight.

Researchers suggest small BMI reductions can significantly lower blood pressure, and even small increases for an already at-risk child place drastic risks on their long-term health.

The study proves how important long term health is and how there is a growing need for health and wellness awareness programs, specifically for children and parents of young children.