Overweight children more likely to have high blood pressure

An independent body which represents GP’s has said that an ‘entire generation will be destroyed’ by the modern day influx of junk food and sugary drinks within children’s diets.

A study from Germany has shown that children who are considered medically obese are up to six times more likely to be at risk of developing high blood pressure in their adult life – something which is later linked to heart disease.

Girls have a bigger problem than boys, with a 5.9 fold chance of developing high blood pressure compared to those of an ideal healthy weight, whilst for boys the risk is lessened at only four times as greater.

The study included the observation of over 22,000 children aged 3-18 years old from ‘health-conscious’ families. Their blood pressure, BMI level, waist circumference and body fat percentage were measured.

The results of the research showed that in comparison with children of a normal, healthy weight, the risk of pre-hypertension (high blood pressure before it advances and needs treatment) was of a significantly higher levels in those with higher BMI scores.

Nutrition and child experts have expressed their alarm, considering that one in three children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school at age 10 or 11 in the UK.

In the news recently, doctors have been appealing to government officials asking for an emergency taskforce to tackle the rising epidemic of childhood obesity (similar to the Government’s COBRA panel which deals with terrorism and international disasters which threaten Britain).

In a public letter to the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Royal College of General Practitioners and eleven other linked organisations have urged the government to form a Child Obesity Action Group ‘as a matter of urgency’.

Within the Action Group, medical healthcare, childhood, welfare and educational authorities would unite and join forces in order to try and prevent obesity and improve treatment services in order to stop the children of today developing health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease in later life.

Doctor Richard Roope, the Royal College of General Practitioner’s clinical lead for cancer said, “For the first time, we have a generation of patients who may predecease their parents. Only three per cent of the public associate weight with cancer, yet, after smoking, obesity is the biggest reversible factor in cancers.”

In addition, Professor Schwandt, the study’s lead researcher said, “Our study clearly shows that the fatter younger people are, the greater their risk of prehypertension and hypertension. Any weight loss they can achieve will help reduce their risk.”

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