Obesity is a risk factor for a number of potentially serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Childhood obesity is linked to a higher risk of metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease and higher chance of premature death and disability in adulthood. Unfortunately, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents has risen dramatically worldwide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016. As many as 38.2 million children under 5 were overweight or obese in 2019, and almost half of these lived in Asia. Now, a new study has revealed that obese girls are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease in adulthood than obese boys. Also Read - Eating processed meat can up your risk of cardiovascular disease, early death
According to the study findings published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, girls are more likely than boys to develop metabolic alterations typical of obesity, such as high blood pressure and dyslipidemi (excessive blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides). Obese girls showed a pattern of lipid profile alterations not seen in girls without obesity and a higher tendency to develop cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Also Read - World Obesity Day: Expert decodes the right way to address the epidemic
Estefania Simoes, first author of the article, said that obese girls had higher levels of triglycerides and LDL, so-called ‘bad cholesterol’, while HDL, ‘good cholesterol’, was lower than in normal weight girls. However, the researchers found no significant differences in the lipid profile of the obese boys from that of normal-weight boys included in the study. The study included 92 adolescents from Brazil. Also Read - Not all good cholesterol is healthy, they can raise heart disease risk: Experts warn
Childhood Obesity Linked To Poor Cognitive Performance
Another study published Monday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation has found an association between childhood obesity to poor cognitive performance in mid-30s and beyond. The research that followed about Finnish 3,600 children over three decades found that the more cardiovascular risk factors a person had from childhood to adulthood– such as obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels — the lower they performed on memory and thinking tests.
The study findings are important for early detection and prevention, as there are currently no cures for Alzheimer’s or other major causes of dementia, the study noted. “Children who have adverse cardiovascular risk factors might benefit from early intervention and lifestyle modifications,” said first author Juuso Hakala, a doctoral student in preventive cardiology at the University of Turku in Finland, in a statement.
Prevention Of Childhood Obesity
Parents can help their children overcome obesity by setting an example of healthy behaviour. Here are some recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA) on healthy behaviours for children: