Obesity rates for children are out of control. About a third of American children are overweight and one-fifth are obese.
I think most people are aware of this news, since it’s been reported for quite some time. But if you need even more convincing of the gravity of the situation, check this out: doctors are finding that obese children (as young as 10) have the arteries of 45-year-olds! There have also been other heart abnormalities found that greatly raise their risk of heart disease.
Dr. Geetha Raghuveer, of Children’s Hospital in Kansas City, and her colleagues used painless ultrasound tests to measure the thickness of the wall of a major neck artery in 70 children, ages 10 to 16. Almost all had abnormal cholesterol and many were obese.
The kids’ “vascular age” was about 30 years older than their actual age, Raghuveer said.
So, next time you see a young kid who is “chubby,” don’t just think it’s baby fat. Some will turn out OK (actor Jerry O’Connell, above, is one famous example), but as this study shows, they could be compromising their future health.