Life Style

Overweight children at doubled risk of high blood pressure

ANI | June 13, 2019 04:03 PM
Representative Image

Washington D.C. (USA): Not only adults but even young children who are overweight are at risk of future heart attack and stroke. Overweight four-year-olds have a doubled risk of high blood pressure by the age of six, claims recent research.

The study was published in the journal 'European Journal of Preventive Cardiology'.

"The myth that excess weight in children has no consequences hampers the prevention and control of this health problem. 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," said Dr Inaki Galan, the study's author.

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.

The study 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.

Compared to children maintaining a healthy weight between ages four and six, those with new or persistent excess weight according to BMI had 2.49 and 2.54 higher risks of high blood pressure, respectively.

In those with new or persistent abdominal obesity, the risks for high blood pressure were 2.81 and 3.42 greater, respectively.

Children who lost weight did not have an increased risk of high blood pressure. The findings applied to all children regardless of sex or socioeconomic status.

"There is a chain of risk, whereby overweight and obesity lead to high blood pressure, which heightens the chance of cardiovascular disease if allowed to track into adulthood. But the results show that children who return to a normal weight also regain a healthy blood pressure," said Dr Galan.

The best way to maintain a healthy weight and lose excess kilos is to exercise and eat a healthy diet, said Dr Galan.

In addition to the central role of parents, the school curriculum needs to include three to four hours of physical activity every week. Teachers should supervise activities during breaks, while schools can offer games and sports after classes and provide nutritionally balanced meals and snacks.

Doctors should routinely assess BMI and waist circumference at early ages, added Dr Galan.

"Some paediatricians think the harms of overweight and obesity begin in adolescence but our study shows they are mistaken. We need to detect excess weight as soon as possible so the damaging impact on blood pressure can be reversed," he said. 

Have something to say? Post your comment
Must Read
All you need to know about new Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla
All you need to know about new Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla
Villager arrested for selling illicit   liquor
Villager arrested for selling illicit liquor
Catch a glimpse of Diljit Dosanjh, Kriti Sanon’s characters in ‘Arjun Patilas’ posters
Catch a glimpse of Diljit Dosanjh, Kriti Sanon’s characters in ‘Arjun Patilas’ posters
Karnataka’s Irrigation minister meets Nirmala Sitharaman, seeks co-operation in key projects
Karnataka’s Irrigation minister meets Nirmala Sitharaman, seeks co-operation in key projects
Food Security Group holds maiden meeting
Food Security Group holds maiden meeting
Korean fast fashion brand XIMI Vogue to generate 500 crore revenue in India
Korean fast fashion brand XIMI Vogue to generate 500 crore revenue in India
UP govt to issue press notes, CM Adityanath’s speeches in Sanskrit as well
UP govt to issue press notes, CM Adityanath’s speeches in Sanskrit as well
Telangana: Jawan alleges land grab, seeks help from KCR in viral video
Telangana: Jawan alleges land grab, seeks help from KCR in viral video
Centre will make all efforts to help Bihar contain encephalitis: Dr Harsh Vardhan
Centre will make all efforts to help Bihar contain encephalitis: Dr Harsh Vardhan
Maharashtra: 8-year-old Dalit boy made to sit on hot tiles over suspicion of theft
Maharashtra: 8-year-old Dalit boy made to sit on hot tiles over suspicion of theft
Amitabh Bachchan begins shooting for ‘Gulabo Sitabo’
Amitabh Bachchan begins shooting for ‘Gulabo Sitabo’
Services resume at Kolkata’s NRS Hospital
Services resume at Kolkata’s NRS Hospital