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Obese Children Getting Heart Disease

Obese Children Getting Heart Disease

Childhood obesity is turning into some perverse, reverse fountain of youth. It’s no secret that the issue is tipping the scales, but new findings show problems not before anticipated; blood vessels of obese children have stiffness normally seen in much older adults with cardiovascular disease, according to Dr. Kevin Harris who spoke to the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010 this week.

He says these findings are highly significant because the elastic qualities of their aorta were impaired even though other measures of heart health such as blood lipid levels and blood pressure were not dramatically different.

“We were surprised to find that these obese children already have stiff blood vessels,” says Dr. Harris from B.C. Children’s Hospital. “Aortic stiffness is an early indicator of cardiovascular disease in obese children.” He says it is as if the aging process has been accelerated in their aorta. Increased stiffness of the aorta is typically associated with aging and is a strong predictor of future cardiac events and mortality in adults.

“The normal aorta has elastic qualities that buffer the flow of blood. When that elasticity is lost, aortic stiffness results – a sign of developing cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Harris told the meeting. “Aortic stiffness is associated with cardiovascular events and early death.”

The mean age of the children in Dr. Harris’s study was 13 years.

“We know there is an association between unhealthy lifestyles and heart disease. Our kids are at risk,” says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. “Poor nutrition and inactivity are threatening their health and well-being. We must rethink the lifestyle standards we have accepted as a society to protect the future health of our kids.”

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Read more: Children, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Fitness, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, News & Issues, ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

79 comments

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7:09PM PST on Feb 14, 2013

so sad

8:08AM PST on Feb 4, 2013

Because parents are too lazy to cook?

6:49PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

How sad, and so preventable.

3:28PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Not to mention that half of all obese children will develop Type 2 diabetes...and if obese before the age of 5, will likely be for the rest of their lives!!!
WAKE UP parents! you are responsible!!!!!!!

9:57AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

so sad

7:35AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

It baffles me how parents can do this to their children. It's tantamount to child abuse to allow your child to dig its own grave with its teeth.

12:01PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Ajla C's may be very wise and pertinent for those who can read them. They're wasted on me though.

3:00AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Što se tiče djece,treba im promjeniti navike,a to treba
da krene od kuće,škole pa do cijelog društva.Izbaciti šejkove u kojima djeca za sedam dana popiju tonu šećera,izbaciti brzu hranu gdje uz jedan hamburger dobiju kilo pomfrita,litar sosa i dva litra koka-kole.Sumnjam da će od toga biti išta,jer svi koji su pokušali da utiču na svjest i roditelja i ministarstva zdravstva,i škole i nastavnika nisu se dobro proveli.Sve se svodi samo na zaradu,na jeftinu i nekvalitetnu hranu,i nikoga nije briga što uništavaju zdravlje i svoje i tuđe djece.

1:32AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

What a person eats is extreamly influencial to there wellbeing and health - especially in childhood as the body is still developing and eating habits for life are being developed as well.

All parents have a responsability to look after there childrens health through what they eat.

6:30PM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

It's very sad and it doesn't have to be this way. Cut out or cut back at least on the sugary drinks such as soda. There is really no reason children or adults for that matter should be drinking this stuff. It's awful for people in general.

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Terrific, nutritious and delicious food! Inexpensive too.

I'd add on to exercise regularly which helps gas move through your system. But I do like that this p…

Neat, thank you.

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