Childhood Obesity: Is Heart Disease in Your Child’s Future?
Clinical methods used to assess adult-onset obesity are often inapplicable for adolescents because of differences in nutritional requirements and body composition. However, with increasing rates of childhood obesity in the United States, better criteria is needed to identify obese children who may be at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
A recent October 2015 study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at cardiovascular metabolic factors as they correlated with differing degrees of obesity among young people. The study used the 1999-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to obtain demographics, health-related responses, and physical examination findings in adolescents. Factors such as blood pressure, fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, cholesterol, and BMI were obtained as indicators of health.
Children who were identified as Class II obese (correlating to an adult BMI of at least 35), presented with higher systolic blood pressures and fasting glucose levels, and lower amounts of healthy cholesterol. Children identified as Class III (adult BMI of at least 40) saw abnormal values in baseline metabolism, with higher diastolic blood pressures, triglycerides, and chronically high blood sugar.
For the complete study, click here.