Researchers have found that overweight kids have a doubled risk of high blood pressure, raising the risk of future heart attacks and strokes.

Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the study shows that obese four-year-old kids have a doubled risk of high blood pressure by age six.

For the study, the research team examined the link between excess weight and high blood pressure in 1,796 kids who were followed up two years later. Blood pressure was measured at both points, as Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference (WC).

Compared to children maintaining a healthy weight between ages four and six, those with new or persistent excess weight according to BMI had 2.49 and 2.54 higher risk of high blood pressure, respectively.

In those with new or persistent abdominal obesity, the risks for high blood pressure were 2.81 and 3.42 greater, respectively. The study results found that there is a chain of risk, whereby overweight and obesity lead to high blood pressure, which heightens the chance of cardiovascular disease if allowed to track into adulthood, but the results show that children who return to a normal weight also regain a healthy blood pressure. Thus the best way to maintain a healthy weight and lose excess kilos is to exercise and eat a healthy diet. In addition to the central role of parents, the school curriculum needs to include three to four hours of physical activity every week.

FROM AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR DR GOVIND SHUKLA, NUTRITION EXPERT

Govind Shukla, Specializes in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Nutraceuticals & Herbal Drugs has published More than 100 research papers in National & International Journals. He is also a reviewer of International Journal of Pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, Chief editor of IJPNR Journal & Freelance Medical Writer for Different publication Groups including Lambert Academic Publishing Saarbrucken, Germany.

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