In a new study, researchers show that obese children as young as 8 years old present heart muscle abnormalities indicative of heart disease. The research results were presented at the 2015 American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions.
Childhood obesity is one of the most serious and challenging public health issues of this century. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2012, 18% of children between the ages of 6 and 11 and 21% of adolescents ages 12 to 19 are obese, and more than one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight and obese. Childhood obesity often leads to worsening health problems that can last a lifetime, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, premature heart disease, high cholesterol, and depression.