Kids at Risk for Disease
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
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.
a PDF report on Child Obesity
Health Crisis, Prevention as a Cure"
report from the American Academy of Pediatrics
"Prevention of Pediatric Overweight
Related articles on Child Obesity or Childhood
articles on Overweight Children