Severely Obese Kids Have Heart Disease Risk Factors as Early as Age 2

A Dutch study finds that high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar are the norm, not the exception, among severely overweight children and adolescents

  • Share
  • Read Later
Getty Images

It’s well-known that obesity can be linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and ultimately to death. But now a new Dutch study is linking severe obesity to cardiovascular risk factors even among kids as young as 2 years old.

The nationwide study in the Netherlands found that two-thirds (67%) of severely obese kids already have at least one heart disease risk factor: high blood pressure, high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, or high total cholesterol, high triglycerides, high fasting blood glucose or Type 2 diabetes.

The data come from doctors’ clinical records across the country. From July 2005 to July 2007, every pediatrician working in a general hospital in the Netherlands was asked to report all new cases of severe obesity among children aged 2 to 18 (with the definition of “severe obesity” varying by age and gender). Then, a group known as the Dutch Pediatric Surveillance Unit tabulated the numbers and asked the pediatricians to report each case’s age, sex, ethnicity and family circumstances, as well as measurements of blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. In total, 500 cases of severe childhood obesity were reported.

Of course, in the U.S. too, there are signs of early heart-disease development among overweight young people. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, just as in the Netherlands, roughly two-thirds of obese U.S. teens have at least one cardiovascular risk factor. More alarmingly, that study found that among all U.S. teens, even those who are not currently overweight, roughly one quarter have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

What’s most remarkable about the new Dutch study, however, is that it finds signs of heart disease even among much younger children still. Among the severely obese Dutch boys and girls aged 2 to 12, 62% showed one or more risk factors. Roughly half of those youngsters were hypertensive.

Writing in the medical journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, the Dutch researchers note that out of the hundreds of children diagnosed as severely obese, “Only one child was obese because of a medical cause,” a hypothalamic tumor. The rest, it seems, were obese instead due to unhealthy lifestyle — a risk factor that continues to spread across the globe.

6 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
radfatty
radfatty

Stigma and discrimination of children based on their physical appearance or body size is resulting in physiological reactions to this stress. The pressure to reduce their body size in not only extremely difficult, if not impossible, it is BAD FOR THEIR HEALTH.

 

As outlined in a 2007 report from Yale’s Rudd Center:

“Research so far suggests that obesity may increase vulnerability to adverse physiological reactions to psychosocial stressors among youths. Experiences of weight stigma may specifically exacerbate negative health outcomes through heightened blood pressure, cortisol reactivity, and risk for hypertension. Given that similar findings pertaining to obesity and vulnerability to stress are emerging in both children and adults, it may be that obesity beginning in childhood heightens vulnerability to a long-term trajectory of negative physical responses to chronic psychosocial stressors. This could in turn increase various cardiovascular risk factors. These health problems often affect overweight children. Many of the negative psychosocial consequences of weight bias occur above and beyond the influence of high body weight, and this appears to be the case for negative health consequences as well (Matthews et al., 2005). Therefore, the health consequences common among obese children may partly result from the effects of discrimination.” (Puhl amp; Latner; Stigma, Obesity, and the Health of the Nation’s Children; 2007)

 

Studies show that dieting, even that considered “naturalistic”, among young people lead to weight cycling [Naturalistic weight reduction efforts predicted weight gain and onset of obesity in adolescent girls; http://ebn.bmj.com/content/3/3...]

 

There is an evidence-based compassionate alternative to conventional dieting: Health At Every Size®. Please consider this alternative prior to making a decision that may result in weight cycling.

 

I would also like to recommend the free NAAFA Child Advocacy ToolkitSM (CATK) and other written guidelines/resources. The NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit shows how Health At Every Size® takes the focus off weight and directs it to healthful eating and enjoyable movement. It addresses the bullying, building positive self-image and eliminating stigmatization of large children. Additionally, the CATK lists resources available to parents and educators or caregivers for educational materials, curriculum and programming that is beneficial for all children. It can be found at:

 http://issuu.com/naafa/docs/na...

 

For more information on Health At Every Size, you can find a general explanation on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... or find in-depth research-based information in the book Health At Every Size - The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Dr. Linda Bacon (http://www.lindabacon.org/HAES....

Gerald E. Harris Jr.
Gerald E. Harris Jr.

I always check out this website before buying any products

in Weight Loss, http://harrisreviews.com.  My personal favorite is the Jenny Craig

system because of its ability to assist so many women and men achieve their personal

weight loss goals.

lightandlove50
lightandlove50

The food was changed in the USA, UK and Australia 30 years ago when dangerous food chemicals from the USA was allowed into European. The food today causes stubborn insulin If you have stubborn insulin you hold fat and have a hard time losing weight. You can eat very little and the weight still does not come off. Stubborn insulin will hold fat and diets won't work. When researchers used a specialized diabetes diet on overweight people all lost weight even those who did not have diabetes. People must wake up to the fact that Fake Foods make you fat and cause inflammmation, this includes diet soda which was proven by researchers that it makes you fatter.

just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

wholefed
wholefed

"No one escapes in the end--eventually the traditional western diet guarantees some form of disease in all of us. While it may not be heart disease at the moment, eventually it will be or hypertension, diabetes, stroke,obesity, gall stones, diverticulitis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or a greater likelihood of breast, prostate, colon, ovarian and uterine cancers. Even erectile dysfunction and dementia. But there is something that you can do now to stop the cascading events that occur in the body and lead to disease. You can change your diet and begin safeguarding your health for the future."

Dr. Esselstyn, www.heartattackproof.com

The groundbreaking book, The China Study, authored by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, reveals what can be described as a startling, yet wholly intuitive, relationship between nutrition and disease. Dr. Campbell found that a whole-foods, plant-based diet can not only lower your risk for certain diseases, it can reverse their progression.

By adopting a diet that has a very high degree of success in decreasing your chances of contracting a chronic disease you are in essence providing yourself with an Insurance Plan.

Here are my results showing plaque reversal in 8 months of a Plant Based diet: http://wholefed.org/2012/05/03...

Ian WelchWholeFed.org

lightandlove50
lightandlove50

The food was changed in the USA, UK and Australia 30 years ago when dangerous food chemicals from the USA was allowed into European. The food today causes stubborn insulin If you have stubborn insulin you hold fat and have a hard time losing weight. You can eat very little and the weight still does not come off. Stubborn insulin will hold fat and diets won't work. When researchers used a specialized diabetes diet on overweight people all lost weight even those who did not have diabetes. People must wake up to the fact that Fake Foods make you fat and cause inflammmation, this includes diet soda which was proven by researchers that it makes you fatter. This was revealed by Danish researchers in Europe

 See here Diet Soda http://spirithappy.org/wp/2011...