Childhood obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors: epidemiologic research

Childhood obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors: epidemiologic research

 

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Recent studies are showing that childhood obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

One study found that the risk of developing heart disease in adulthood was 2.2 times higher for children who were obese than for children who were not obese. Another study found that when obese children became adults, their risk of developing heart disease increased by 5.8 times compared to people who were not obese as children.

These findings confirm what doctors have long suspected: that childhood obesity leads to adult obesity, which can lead to other health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

Unfortunately, childhood obesity is on the rise. According to one study conducted by the CDC, 17% of American children between the ages of two and 19 are considered obese (CDC). The rates are highest among black and Hispanic children; more than 30% of black children and more than 25% of Hispanic children are considered obese (CDC).

The good news is that there are ways we can help prevent childhood obesity from occurring in the first place! Here are some recommendations from pediatricians:

• Maintain a healthy diet rich in whole foods

• Get plenty of exercise each day (try walking after dinner instead of watching TV)

• Limit screen time to less than two hours per

 

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Childhood obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors: epidemiologic research

 

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