Oveweight Children Risk Heart Attacks as Adults

Two new studies in the same issue of the New England Journal of Medicine show the probable impact of childhood obesity on heart attack rates. The first study, based on annual height-and-weight measurements in some 275,000 Danish schoolchildren, followed their health after age 25. Researchers found that being overweight in adolescence predicts higher risks for heart attacks in later life. The present high rate of obesity in adolescence is projected to increase the prevalence of obese 35-year-olds in 2020 to a range of 30 to 37 percent in men and 34 to 44 percent in women.

The second study predicts that heart attack rate will increase between 5 percent and 16 percent by 2035, with more than 100,000 excess cases of coronary heart disease attributable to the epidemic of obesity. Obesity in childhood increases risk for coronary heart disease during adult years. Efforts to regulate advertising of junk food, change farm subsidies, and provide funding for decent lunches and regular physical activities at school can help to reverse this trend. Journal references; more on healthful eating for children


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