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Overweight Kids at Risk for Disease

      Overweight children and adolescents are at risk for adult cardiovascular disease, a new study finds.
      An analysis based on a series of seven studies conducted in Louisiana between 1973 and 1994, indicates that childhood obesity is associated with precursors of adult heart disease.
      Of the 9,100 5- to 17-year-olds studied, 813 were considered overweight. More than half of the overweight children had at least one additional risk factor for cardiovascular heart problems, and 20 percent had two or more additional cardiovascular risk factors, according to the report.
      As compared with average-weight children and adolescents, overweight kids were found to be 2.4 times more likely to have an elevated total cholesterol level or diastolic blood pressure, and 4.5 times more likely to have a higher systolic blood pressure.
      Between 10 percent and 15 percent of all children in the United States are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lowering these numbers with more physical activity programs could reduce the occurence of adult heart disease in the future.
      Similar studies show that even small amounts of physical activity can also have a positive impact on student performance and academic achievement in terms of memory, observation, problem solving and decision making. Youth who are involved in daily physical activity also experience significant improvements in attitudes, discipline, behaviour and creativity. Programs designed to get kids active in-school through fun activities and to encourage youth to make healthy active lifestyle choices are the best ways to deter childhood obesity.
      The study was conducted by doctors from the CDC and the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. It appears in the June issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 Read a PDF report on Child Obesity
"Public Health Crisis, Prevention as a Cure"

PDF report from the American Academy of Pediatrics
"Prevention of Pediatric Overweight and Obesity"

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Reference Source 63,71

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