Children as young as 10 are showing early signs of heart disease due to obesity, it was revealed Sunday, with leading doctors in the U.S. and U.K. calling for youngsters to be screened for the illness.
Foodfacts.com has learned that doctors found obese young children suffering from stiffness of their arteries, which is linked to developing heart disease later in life.
The pediatricians, who work at one of America’s top children’s hospitals, say that if this sign of heart disease was picked up by screening, the children would be more likely to exercise and lose weight.
Dr. Tom Kimball, a pediatrician at Cincinnati children’s hospital, who led the study, said: “Pediatricians and family physicians must start measuring children’s BMI as early as age three and help families reverse it if required.”
Doctors measured the stiffness of the arteries in more than 600 teenagers and young adults aged 10 to 24. At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics on Friday, they said that obese children as young as 10 had stiff arteries, a predictor for developing heart disease.
There are similar levels of obesity among British and American children. Official figures show that 19.6 percent of American six to 11-year-olds are obese, compared with 16 percent of British children aged two to 15.
Research by the University of Dundee and nearby Ninewells hospital has found that 20 percent of Scottish children aged between 11 and 14 have developed flaws in their arteries that can contribute to heart disease later in life.
Their Department of Health currently advises local health care districts to measure all children’s BMI when they are four to five years old, and again at age 10 to 11.
What are your experiences with childhood obesity? Are you experiencing overweight issues with your children? Foodfacts.com would like to hear from you.
Source: Fox DFW
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