Obese 10-year-olds increase their risk of heart attack in adulthood

01 June 2017

Shocking new statistics have found that children who are obese at the age of 10 are more at risk of heart attacks later in life.

Once just regarded as puppy fat, childhood obesity is a growing problem in countries around the world, with governments vowing to help tackle the epidemic.

And a new study may encourage them even further, as it has been found that even if kids shed the weight, their arteries may be so damaged that serious health problems will still be a danger for them as they grow up.

Read more: Child obesity partly inherited from parents

A team from the University of Surrey analysed 18 previous studies, looking at 300,000 participants who were tracked from the age of 10 to 35. They found that obesity in childhood led to thicker arteries in adulthood, which in turn leads to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease in middle or old age and a higher chance of suffering from a stroke and heart disease. Obese children also raise their risk of developing pre-diabetes and high blood pressure

“It is worrying that obesity is becoming endemic in our society,” study author Dr Martin Whyte said. “The adverse effects of adult obesity are well known but what we have found is that obesity in childhood can cause lasting arterial damage which could potentially lead to life-threatening illness.

”This is something that we need to address to protect the adult health and reduce pressure on the NHS (Britain's National Health Service).”

Results have been published in journal Obesity Reviews.

Read more: Obesity during pregnancy linked with higher cerebral palsy risk for baby

The new findings come hot on the heels of a separate British study, which found only 30 percent of parents with an overweight child correctly identified them as having a weight problem.

In 2015/16 it was revealed that nearly 20 percent of 10 and 11-year-olds in the U.K. were obese and in the U.S. it’s estimated that one in five school-aged children (ages six to 19) has obesity.

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