Can Childhood Obesity Trigger Future Health Problems?

High blood pressure, liver problems and heart disease risk upped in heavy kids

Obese children can be encountered everywhere. These newsposts are not trying to get to the root causes, rather, to the disastrous effects. Obese children are at increased risk for liver disease, high blood pressure and heart disease, a new study warns.


Researchers looked at nearly 500 children and teens, aged 2 to 17, with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that’s most common among youngsters who are overweight and obese.
NAFLD can develop in conjunction with other health problems such as diabetes.

High blood pressure present in 10 percent of obese kids

Nearly 36 percent of them had high blood pressure at the start of the study and 21 percent had persistent high blood pressure 48 weeks later. High blood pressure is present in 2 percent to 5 percent of all children and 10 percent of obese children, according to the researchers.

The study showed that children with NAFLD have a significant risk of high blood pressure, which is often undiagnosed.

The study was published Nov. 24 in the journal PLoS One.

“As a result of our study, we recommend that blood pressure evaluation, control and monitoring should be included as an integral component of the clinical management of children with NAFLD, especially because this patient population is at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes,” principal investigator Dr. Jeffrey Schwimmer, from the department of paediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, said in a university news release.

Hypertension a main cause of preventable death in US

He and his colleagues also found that among children and teens with NAFLD, girls were much more likely to have persistent high blood pressure than boys.

“Parents and doctors need to be aware of the health risks of children who have NAFLD. The sooner high blood pressure is identified and treated in this patient population, the healthier they will be as they transition into adulthood,” he concluded.

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