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Researchers Find Overweight Kids Have Doubled Risk of High Blood Pressure

Galan noted that overweight in children is most accurately assessed using both BMI and WC

Researchers have found that overweight kids have a doubled risk of high blood pressure, raising the risk of future heart attacks and strokes.

Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the study shows that obese four-year-old kids have a doubled risk of high blood pressure by age six.

“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 study lead author Inaki Galan from Carlos III Health Institute in Spain.

For the study, the research team examined the link between excess weight and high blood pressure in 1,796 kids who were followed up two years later. Blood pressure was measured at both points, as Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference (WC).

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 risk of high blood pressure, respectively.

body mass index
In this May 8, 2014 photo, an overweight man wears a shirt patterned after the American flag during a visit to the World Trade Center, in New York. VOA

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

“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 Galan.

Also Read- Uttar Pradesh May Soon Get a New Drug Against Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis

According to Galan, the best way to maintain a healthy weight and lose excess kilos is to exercise and eat a healthy diet. In addition to the central role of parents, the school curriculum needs to include three to four hours of physical activity every week.

Galan noted that overweight in children is most accurately assessed using both BMI and WC. (IANS)

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