Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Future health risks for obese children may be greater than previously thought

Date:
September 25, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Being obese as a child or adolescent may have a larger effect on future health than previously thought, suggests a new study.

Being obese as a child or adolescent may have a larger effect on future health than previously thought, suggests a study published on bmj.com today.

It comes as New York City passes a ban on large-size sugary drinks to help tackle obesity and related health problems in the US. MPs are now calling on the government to introduce similar legislation in the UK.

Researchers at the University of Oxford show that obese children and adolescents have several risk factors for heart disease including raised blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and a thickening of the heart muscle, compared with normal weight children.

They warn that, if these risk factors are allowed to progress into adulthood, obese children could already be at a 30-40% higher risk of future stroke and heart disease than their normal weight counterparts.

Being overweight in adulthood is well known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The effect of obesity on children is less well understood, but a growing body of evidence suggests a similar association.

So a team of researchers based at the University of Oxford set out to examine the scale of the association between weight and risk factors for heart disease in children.

They analysed the results of 63 studies involving 49,220 healthy children aged between five and 15 years old. Only studies conducted after 1990 in highly developed countries and published between 2000 and 2011 were included.

The studies measured weight and one or more known cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

Overweight was defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30 and obesity was defined as BMI of 30 or more. Differences in study quality were taken into account to identify and minimise bias.

Compared with normal weight children, obese children had significantly higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Overweight children also had raised blood pressure, but to a lesser degree than obese children.

Fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance (known markers for diabetes) were significantly higher in obese children, but not in overweight children.

Obese children also had a significant increase in left ventricular mass (a thickening of the heart muscle and often a marker for heart disease) compared with normal weight children, even after adjusting for height. The authors say that the exact ages at which changes in a child's risk factors begin need to be established to help build a more accurate picture of the cardiovascular risk these young people are likely to face as adults.

"Weight, and especially obesity, has a significant effect on the risk parameters for cardiovascular disease that are present in children from age five years," they conclude. "This effect could give them a head start on their normal and even overweight classmates for future cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke."

In an accompanying editorial, Lee Hudson and Russell Viner at the UCL Institute of Child Health in London, say this review "provides a stark illustration of the probable threat that childhood obesity poses to disease burden in the population."

They say further work is needed to guide assessment and treatment decisions, and to tease out the effects of age and pubertal status on cardiovascular risk. In the meantime, the findings "challenge us to rethink our approaches to identifying cardiometabolic abnormalities in obese children."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. C. Friedemann, C. Heneghan, K. Mahtani, M. Thompson, R. Perera, A. M. Ward. Cardiovascular disease risk in healthy children and its association with body mass index: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 2012; 345 (sep25 2): e4759 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e4759
  2. L. Hudson, R. M. Viner. Obesity in children and adolescents. BMJ, 2012; 345 (sep25 2): e5457 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e5457

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Future health risks for obese children may be greater than previously thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925183624.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, September 25). Future health risks for obese children may be greater than previously thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925183624.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Future health risks for obese children may be greater than previously thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925183624.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins