Study Shows Obesity Puts Toddlers at Risk

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Study Shows Obesity Puts Toddlers at Risk

Almost 17% percent of U.S. kids ages 2 to 19 are obese, according to the CDC. And now a nationwide study of children 3 to 6 years old by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reveals that childhood obesity can trigger health problems as early as age three.

The study measured the waist circumference and body mass index of each child, then compared these with the child’s cholesterol levels. The presence of arterial inflammation in the children was also noted, since inflammation is a precursor to the formation of arterial plaque, which can lead to blockage and future heart disease.

Unsurprisingly, the kids with high BMI and larger waist measurements were found to have low levels of HDL, or ”good” cholesterol, and significant levels of C-reactive protein, a sign of arterial inflammation and, which we just discussed, is also found in infertile women.

According to University of Miami professor Sarah Messiah, lead author of the study, overweight toddlers “are experiencing a childhood at the edge of disease, potentially setting them up for chronic problems”.

While the study’s authors can’t say with certainty exactly why obesity is becoming so widespread among young children, they advise parents to watch their child’s weight even in preschool years, and ask their child’s pediatrician to add a BMI measurement [D] to their toddler’s regular checkups if he or she hasn’t done so already.

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