Weighty problem

Published: Friday 31 July 1998

Overweight children face a greater risk of heart attacks than those of normal weight, reports a study from the US Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health conducted by Johanna Dwyer of Tufts University, Boston. These children have a distinct possibility of very serious cardiovascular problems when they grow up. Dwyer and her team studied over 5,000 children from various ethnic groups. Overweight children had abnormally high blood pressure, total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol. In addition, they had less of the "good" high density lipoprotein-cholesterol and did poorly in running tests. Only about five per cent children managed to attain "normal" weight status during the three-year study period. And those who managed to shed weight developed all the favourable changes that reduce risk factors for heart disease ( American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , Vol 67, No 4).

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