Information keeps rolling in from the medical community that being obese as a child is bad for a child’s health, especially their cardiovascular system. In fact, a recently published study from Germany documented that obese German children had, on average, have higher levels of blood pressure, more fats in their blood, higher blood sugar and insulin levels, and thicker heart muscles. None of this is good news for these children. Each of these parameters predicts future trouble.
The study compared 61 obese children between the ages of 8-12 years with 40 non-obese controls. The studies authors were surprised to find that not only did the metabolic disturbance associated with obesity begin at such a young age, and that structural heart muscle changes were beginning as well.
The conclusions are clear, having a BMI greater than the 99 percentile early in life creates an environment within a child’s body that promotes heart and blood vessel disease. The lead researcher, Dr. Mangner, a cardiologist at University of Leipzig is not sure if these changes are reversible with weight loss, or how they will impact future cardiovascular disease. He advises that eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise are fundamental to a child’s long-term good health. Previously we have seen how obesity can damage a child’s liver (https://www.docsmo.com/are-our-children-eating-themselves-to-poor-liver-health-article/)and now we have evidence that their little hearts may suffer as well. Being seriously overweight has more implications for a child than simply being teased on the playground. It seems that their health is also at stake.
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Written collaboratively by Catherine Wu and PaulSmolen M.D.