Obesity among children biggest health threat: study

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Sydney, Dec 12 (UNI) Childhood obesity will be the biggest health threat in coming years, raising death rates from heart diseases, a new study shows.

The Danish study has warned that if steps were not taken to reverse the problem, the children of each successive generation were destined to be ''fatter and sicker than their parents''.

The finding ''suggests that more children than ever before are facing increased risks of CHD in adulthood'', said the team, the Couriermail reported.

The combined health problems will lead to more heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure at a younger age, and even aggressive treatment will not be able to stem the trend.

By 2035, the prevalence of heart disease will have increased by 5 to 16 per cent, they estimated.

''Barring a major advance in the treatment of either excessive weight gain itself or its associated alterations in blood pressure, lipid levels and glucose metabolism, current adolescent overweight will have a substantial effect on public health far into the future,'' they concluded.

The study tracked more than one quarter of a million school children in Copenhagen from 1930 to 1976, found that overweight children grew up to have more heart problems, particularly the boys.

The heavier they were as youngsters, particularly entering their teens, the greater the risk. For example, a 13-year-old boy who was 11.2 kg above the average weight was found to be 33 per cent more likely than a child of normal weight to have a heart attack or some other problem caused by coronary heart disease by age 60.

UNI

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