Bloomberg News reports that “teenagers and young adults who are obese . . . show signs of damaged heart arteries that may lead to heart attacks, strokes, and shortened lives,” according to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. If you child or teen is overweight or obese, what does this mean for he or she, and what can you do?
HealthDay added that researchers “used ultrasound to assess the carotid arteries of a few hundred young people (average age 18) – 182 who were lean . . . and 136 classified as obese.” The investigators “looked at the thickness of the intima, one of the layers of tissue that line the arteries.”
WebMD explained that the participants “with obesity . . . were more likely than the normal-weight youths to have several traditional heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”
Still, “these differences only partly explained the significant changes in carotid artery thickness and stiffness.”
According to the researchers, “the participants with type 2 diabetes had the most plague buildup in their carotid arteries, but non-diabetic obese participants were not far behind, and both groups displayed similar significant increases in carotid artery stiffness compared to lean controls.”
So, if your child or teen is overweight or obese, what can you do?
I have good news for you. I have realistic hope and practical help available for you.
I’ve done some ground-breaking work on childhood obesity with the wonderful folks at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida, and we have developed a number of resources that will help you and your family:
1) A great option is to order and read our book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat. You can order it here.
2) You can find a free Family Assessment Tool here that will help you assess your family’s diet, activity and rest habits (it’s called The SuperSized Kids Quiz). Download and take the assessment to see how you and your family are doing.
3) In addition, I’ve designed and we’ve clinically tested an 8-Week Family Fitness Plan (SuperSized Kids 8-Week Plan) that you can find here.