Childhood Obesity and Risk of Heart Disease

A study carried out by researchers at Bristol University has shown that children who are overweight at age nine have an increased risk of suffering heart disease as an adult. As approximately 200,000 deaths in Britain each year are attributed to heart disease, this is a worrying result for many. It is the belief of Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, that child’s health advice should be issued to parents at a much earlier age. As heart disease is a major cause of early death in adults, and a drain on health service finances, more should be done by the government to reduce child obesity.

The study which was led by Professor Lawlor was published in the British Medical Journal, providing increased evidence that children’s health should be tackled at an early age. The study of more than 5000 children ranging in age from nine to 12, were measured for indications of fat including the Body Mass Index. Nearly a quarter of the children were overweight, with some being obese. The children were measured again at age 15 and the ones who had remained overweight were showing increased indications of heart disease, with higher blood pressure, insulin levels and higher cholesterol levels.

The children who had slimmed down had also reduced their risk factors of heart disease, which proves that providing child’s health advice at an early age, preventing children becoming overweight, can reduce the onset of heart disease in adult life.

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