Obese kids at risk of heart issues

100 pounds overweight is being morbidly obese. (AP)

September 26, 2012 3:49:04 AM PDT
Obese kids -- even as early as age 6 -- can start showing changes to their heart muscles that could lead to problems later, a new review of previously published studies shows. And some obese kids had elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar at age 5.

This international study, published in the journal BMJ, combined the results of 63 studies on nearly 50,000 school-aged kids from 23 countries, making it one of the largest reviews of its kind to date. The researchers compared the data linking obesity in kids and risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

What they found was alarming. It gives obese kids a head start on developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes, said the lead study author, Claire Friedemann, a doctoral student in the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

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