Inactive children more vulnerable to heart risks

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Washington, Apr 4 (UNI) If your child is turning out to be a couch-potato and spending more time playing computer games or watching television, you need to be worried for he/she might be storing up health risks for the future.

A recent study revealed that unfit and lazy children were more vulnerable to develop early signs of heart disease, than those who were physically active and exercised regularly.

Experts at the University of North Carilona, have discovered an important nexus between physical activity in early childhood and sound health throughout life.

''This is the first study to examine the importance of childhood fitness levels on one's metabolism as a teenager. Previously it was not know if low fitness levels were an influence, but it is obvious now that there is a link and this is something which we need to pay attention to by encouraging our kids to keep fit, or suffer the consequences later in life,'' lead author of the study professor Robert McMurray said.

The study published in the journal Dynamic Medicine, took measurements from 389 children between the age of seven and 10 and again when they were between 14 and 17.

By the end of the study period, almost half of the teenagers had developed at least one characteristic of 'metabolic syndrome', that is considered a pre-cursor to heart disease, diabetes and increased risk of stroke.

The 'metabolic syndrome' is a group of symptoms including obesity, abnormal fat levels in the blood, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin problems.

Overall, 4.6 per cent of the teenagers who were studied, had developed three or more characteristics of metabolic syndrome.

When younger this group was heavier, had lower levels of physical activity and were generally unfit.

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