Study links heart-health risk factors to childhood obesity

The St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch reported that a study in the medical journal Obesity fond that “heart-health risk factors such as dangerous cholesterol levels and artery inflammation can start as early as age 3” for overweight children.

The study found “sharp differences among racial and ethnic groups.”

Six-year-old black and Hispanic boys and 5-year-old girls “with high BMI and waist size tended to have higher inflammation levels,” and “3-year-old Hispanic girls and 5-year-old Hispanic boys … with high BMI and waist size tended to have lower levels of HDL.”

Lead author Sarah Messiah, a Miami research assistant professor, said, “When a doctor sees an overweight child at age 3, he has to talk to the parents about it. The negative health processes are not 20 years down the road – they’re already starting.”

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