Cardiologists have disproved pediatricians on the effects of childhood obesity.

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The risk of hypertension is more than doubled in children 4-6 years old if they are overweight. This is the conclusion of a Spanish study in which 1,796 children were first examined at the age of four years, and then 2 years later, to obtain final results.

"Some pediatricians believe that overweight and obesity do not have consequences before adolescence. But our research shows that they are wrong," said Inaki Galan, one of the authors of the article, which was recently published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

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Galán and his colleagues studied preschoolers in the province of Madrid for a long time. At the beginning of the experiment, 32 pediatricians from the Galan team recorded data from young patients: gender, height, weight, blood pressure, body mass index and waist circumference, as well as other facts related to maternal pregnancy and childbirth. Two years later, the same children were examined again.

"We evaluated the connection between obesity and high blood pressure at the beginning of the experiment and weight changes in children aged 4 to 6 years. Obese 4-year-old children had an increase in blood pressure by the age of 6 years," the article says.

Analysis of the data showed that a 4–6-year-old child with overweight or obesity had a significantly higher pressure than a child with a normal weight. And a completely different result was for those children who, at the age of 4, were overweight by the beginning of the experiment, but not by 6 years old: their blood pressure was comparable to the pressure of those babies who were of normal weight at these ages.

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Commenting on the study, pediatricians cited by Tagesspiegel characterize it as "carefully thought out and well done."

Hypertension as a consequence of obesity in children is not uncommon in their daily practice. Doctors remind that high blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. They recommend to monitor the nutrition of young children: many products, especially specially designed for preschoolers, contain too much sugar. By the way, most parents do not pay attention to this. Meanwhile, the causes of diabetes mellitus type 2 called malnutrition, overweight and lack of physical activity.


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