Michael Omidi looks more in depth at new studies of childhood obesity and high blood pressure.
New data suggests that children suffering from obesity are more likely to have a quadrupled risk of high blood pressure than a child at a normal weight.
The study that began in 1986 by Sara E. Watson, MD was presented at the American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research 2013 Scientific Sessions. Over the years, the study was conducted on over 1,000 healthy children in Indianapolis. Their height, weight and blood pressure were checked twice a year according to Healio.com.
Watson studies enabled researchers to find two-thirds of the test subjects were normal weight. Sixteen percent of the children were obese, while another 16 percent were overweight according to an article in HealthDay News.
Watson’s studies found that six percent of normal weight children have had hypertension, while 26 percent of obese children contract high blood pressure.
As of now the two leading states in percentages of childhood obesity are Kentucky and Mississippi. Eighteen percent of high school students in Kentucky and Mississippi are obese, which is the top of that age group’s national rankings according to a report by Kentucky’s Task Force on Childhood obesity.
According to the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that by 2030, even more children are at risk for having childhood obesity and hypertension as adults.
If childhood obesity is left unaddressed, the effects of hypertension could damage the heart and coronary arteries and could lead to a heart attack according to the American Heart Association.
Like Watson, the American Heart Association and other groups, we at Children’s Obesity Fund look to the families and pediatricians of the obese children who are more susceptible of the urgency of the situation. Body Mass Index (BMI) should be regularly used to keep the measurement on these children to help control their weight.
Keeping a close eye to the amount of sodium levels that children are intake could also assist doctors find out the risk in hypertension according to the article in HealthDay News.
“Hypertension is no longer an adult disease,” said senior researcher Gregory Harshfield, director of the Institute of the Georgia Prevention Center at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University in Augusta to HealthDay Weekly.