Arteries Can Be Damaged In Obese Children!

Millions of children could end up with diabetes, heart disease, and other problems linked to being overweight and their parents are not even aware of it. A UK research on a 12-year study of 300 children and their families in the British city of Plymouth found that many school children were overweight but their parents did not believe it.

The study discovered that one-third of mothers and half the fathers who were either overweight or obese rated themselves “about right”. A third of obese girls and half of the obese boys also were rated by their parents as weighing “about right”. When the weight that physicians know to be unhealthy is considered alright by the public, as one of the researchers said, major health problems are on the horizon.

The fact that parents are unaware of overweight and obesity in their children means that there will be a lack of critical partners in an effort to halt a developing epidemic. It is known that close to two-thirds of the children in UK were overweight or obese.

On the other hand, do you know that, overweight children are 3 to 4 times more likely than those of normal weight to have a heart attack or stroke before the age of 65?

This is because their arteries are in a similar, thickened condition as those of a 45-year-old adult who has been smoking for more than 10 years, according to researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong in a report in the journal Circulation.

54 boys and 28 girls with an average age of 9.9 years were studied. Nevertheless, the damage can be reversed by diet and regular exercise. The children in the study were put on a low-calorie diet for 6 weeks and half took part in a 75-minute exercise program twice a week. After 6 weeks, all the children had lost weight. Using ultrasound, the researchers also found that the responsiveness of an artery in the arm to increased blood flow improved. Children who had exercised as well as dieted had a bigger improvement than those who had only dieted.

Follow-up tests after a year showed that those who had continued exercising had less thickening of the carotid arteries, which are in the neck.

The finding highlights the importance of regular exercise in preventing obesity-related vascular dysfunction in children. However, it is more important and easier to prevent obesity and its associated problems than reverse them.

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Ng Peng Hock


July, 2018

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